An evolving field bridging psychology and oncology, which formally studies the relationship of the psyche to malignancy. Integral to psycho-oncology are the elements that affect a person’s adaptation to cancer, which occur in sociocultural, medical, and individual contexts. The field attempts to sway the course of advanced and/or metastatic cancer by promoting a positive attitude in cancer patients; “soft” data suggest that it might help. 

It is difficult to perform formal studies, given the often anecdotal nature of the data; in one study of patients with metastatic breast cancer, those undergoing psychotherapy lived 19 months longer, and had less anxiety and pain than the control group.  

Synonym Psychosocial oncology 

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