Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

by Jon Carlson, Suzanne M. Miller
     
 

When patients are diagnosed with breast cancer, they embark on a complex journey that poses many different challenges. Emerging evidence suggests that a cognitive-social approach, which takes into account mind-body interactions, is useful in helping women to negotiate the psychological challenges of this journey. In the early stage of disease, these phases include

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Overview

When patients are diagnosed with breast cancer, they embark on a complex journey that poses many different challenges. Emerging evidence suggests that a cognitive-social approach, which takes into account mind-body interactions, is useful in helping women to negotiate the psychological challenges of this journey. In the early stage of disease, these phases include the initial diagnosis, active treatment, the reentry phase following active treatment, and the extended survivorship phase. Key concepts and processes in this approach include the following: During the diagnosis phase, facilitating treatment decision making through the clarification of treatment beliefs, values/goals, and self-efficacy expectations, is a priority for patients. It is also important to normalize feelings of anxiety and fear and to facilitate communication with both the health care team and the family. During the active treatment phase, it is important for the therapist to provide a reliable source of support for the loss of control and sense-of-self that accompany entry into the patient role, as well as to provide coping strategies for ongoing pain and symptom management, strategies for rectifying unmet communication needs with the medical team and the family, and plans for dealing with the shifting of life priorities and values. During the reentry and extended survivorship phases following active treatment, patient concerns include coping with persistent fears of disease recurrence and the experience of residual bodily symptoms and dysfunction. Women also begin to more actively search for meaning in the experience and to rethink their pre-diagnosis life values, goals, and priorities. The specific demands on the patient change at each phase of the breast cancer journey, although certain themes remain constant. High monitors (women who typically attend to health threats, scan for external and bodily cues, and exaggerate the significance of threat cues) can

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591470267
Publisher:
American Psychological Association
Publication date:
01/28/2003

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