Human Behaviour

2188 Words Jul 8th, 2015 9 Pages
Cancer is still seen by many as an incurable disease that slowly takes over healthy human tissue, and ultimately causes death. 2Through advances in medical science, different physical procedures have been developed to treat cancer – for example, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. In recent years however, there has been a growing perception by cancer specialists and patients that the onset and treatment of cancer may be affected by psychological factors. A new field of research called psycho-oncology has emerged to investigate how the mind can slow down, or even reverse, the progress of cancer. The results from such studies however, have not always been conclusive, and in the case of retrospective studies, have often proved …show more content…
15 Research was then directed to cancer patients. Many studies concentrated on women suffering from breast cancer, and consisted of interviewing them after a significant event involving their cancer (such as diagnosis, or an operation). The patients were then followed up after a number of years. However, the results often proved contradictory, as has occurred in several retrospective studies. In one well-known case, 16Ramirez et al. (1989) found that there was a prognostic association between severe life stressors and the recurrence of breast cancer. Barraclough et al. (1992) 17 on the other hand, 18 found that psychosocial adversity such as depression, or a severe life event, was not conducive to a relapse of cancer and this conclusions has since been supported. 19"There is good evidence for any relation between stressful life events and breast cancer" (McGee 1999, p.1015).
Certain studies found that patients could be classified into different psychological groups, and that a pattern emerged in the life span of the patients in each of the groups. In one study, Greer et al. (1979) classified 2069 female patients suffering from breast cancer into one of four groups , 21 the Denial, Fighting Spirit, Stoic Acceptance and Feelings of Hopelessness groups. The Denial group consisted of those patients who
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