Cancer, the mind and the person: What we know about the causes of cancer

David Kissane, Yasmin Al-Asady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

2 Citations (Scopus)


At a time when patients are challenged to cope adaptively with both the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, clinicians need to respond appropriately to the many inevitable questions about the causes of cancer and contributing factors, including Is this my fault? . The evidence guiding answers to such questions has been confounded by many methodological challenges, but personality, stress and life events are no longer considered causes of cancer. However, social isolation, untreated depression and social deprivation continue to influence quality of life and reduce cancer survival times. Psychiatry might play a role in promoting lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of cancer, but more importantly it can influence disease progression by optimising patients adaptation to the many challenges that cancer brings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281 - 288
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Psychiatric Treatment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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