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Psychosocial issues and supporting individuals with a family history of cancer 

Psychosocial issues and supporting individuals with a family history of cancer
Chapter:
Psychosocial issues and supporting individuals with a family history of cancer
Author(s):

Clare Firth

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199672844.003.0034
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date: 20 August 2019

This chapter describes some of the main psychosocial issues faced by patients and their families at high risk of hereditary cancer and with a known genetic mutation and presents a range of emotions that patients typically encounter. It highlights the psychosocial issues surrounding decision making about risk management options including screening and risk reducing surgery. It discusses ways to assess and manage psychological issues which arise during the patient care pathway and the role of psychological and counselling services in the provision of specialist therapeutic interventions. It provides guidelines for when to refer to counselling services as well as the role of peer support. It is intended to apply to a range of genetic cancer disorders and draws from research evidence and patient experiences with case examples to illustrate the issues.

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