Psychosocial Oncology Essay

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Psychosocial Advances in Oncology Research and Practice
In the 1800’s, a cancer diagnosis was viewed as the equivalent of death (Holland, 2002). In this day and age, there was no known cause or cure, and it was considered inhumane to reveal the diagnosis to the patient. In a constantly changing and advancing society, this ideology was transformed as the result of an accumulation of technological advances, education, and research initiative. This led to the acceptance of the notion of cancer worldwide. As cancer continued to become more prevalent, health care providers and researchers were forced to further investigate the biology, development, and treatment of cancer. The interaction of cancer outside the realm of molecular and cellular biology became apparent in the mid 1900’s and has since found importance in the fields of psychology, neuropsychology, and psychosocial oncology (Holland, 2002).
The field of psychosocial oncology finally became established in the 1970’s, when the stigma of cancer shifted, and patients felt comfortable sharing their experience (Holland, 2002). Social workers and nurses were the first health care professionals to attend to the psychological needs of
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Cancer is an abnormal production of cells that divide uncontrollably within the body (Black & Hogan 2006). What is more vaguely understood are the mechanisms the underlie this, the different effects on each patient, and how to stop it. Some common types of cancer are breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, leukemia, and brain cancer. Each of these various diagnoses cause different biological and psychological stresses on the patient. Because old cells do not die and instead grow out of control, often, a mass will form, otherwise known as a tumor. Cancerous tumors are malignant, meaning they can spread into nearby tissues, whereas benign tumors do not spread, and are often

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