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Couples coping with cancer 

Couples coping with cancer
Chapter:
Couples coping with cancer
Author(s):

W. Kim Halford

, Suzanne Chambers

, and Samantha Clutton

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199583553.003.0005
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date: 28 November 2021

As people age, they are more likely to suffer from physical illnesses and disabilities, which present significant challenges to the sufferer, partner, and family. One of the most common illnesses associated with aging is cancer. As the above quotes illustrate, reactions to the diagnosis and treatment of cancers are highly variable among the sufferers, their partner, and family members. This chapter reviews the psychological effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment on older people, with a particular emphasis on how couples cope with cancer. The focus is on two of the most common forms of cancer for older people: breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Aside from the high prevalence of these forms of cancer, we focus on breast and prostate cancer as each impact upon parts of the body associated with sexuality and gender identity, and poses particular challenges to the aging couple.

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