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Psycho-oncology and psychosocial aspects of gynaecological cancer 

Psycho-oncology and psychosocial aspects of gynaecological cancer
Chapter:
Psycho-oncology and psychosocial aspects of gynaecological cancer
Author(s):

Hideki Onishi

and Mayumi Ishida

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198749547.003.0010
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date: 17 April 2021

Patients with gynaecological cancer encounter, everyday, various problems in their family lives, jobs, and finances, in addition to the direct effects of the cancer itself. They also face problems concerning a loss of femininity, such as those related to the menopause, their reproductive function, and sexual activity that is brought about by the effects of the disease and its management. Hence, problems are not only limited to the biological aspect of cancer, but also to its impact on psychosocial aspects, thereby increasing the level of stress in these patients. Hence, when considering the problems of patients with gynaecological cancer, its psychosocial impact, and its effect on day-to-day living should be addressed in addition to the physical aspect of the disease. Otherwise, treatment will be inadequate. Chapter 10 addresses this. Recognition of the importance of solving these psychosocial problems, which can be distressing to many patients with gynaecological cancer, and the early identification along with appropriate intervention for these problems, would aid in improving the quality-of-life of these sufferers. Furthermore, the biopsychosocial impact of the cancer extends to close family members who care for the patient, particularly the spouse/ partner, and thus increases their risk of psychosomatic disease besides malignancy. Cancer support services should include the family care-givers. Two vignettes illustrate the complex biopsychosocial issues associated with gynaecological cancer, and one depicts issues after bereavement.

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