Psycho-oncology integrates research and clinical wisdom across multiple disciplines—including oncology, psychiatry, psychology, surgery, radiotherapy and palliative care, among others—in the service of educating oncologists, physicians, psychiatrists and other mental health care providers, and hospital chaplains about the psychological and psychosocial challenges faced by patients with neoplastic disorders. As cancer treatment has improved, the number of patients deemed “cancer survivors” has grown, along with their more complex, long-term mental health issues. This book assists care providers in meeting the challenge presented by this population. Written by international experts in psycho-oncology, the volume offers a compact overview of the clinical elements in this field, with a primary focus on the biopsychosocial aspects of individuals with cancer as well as their families and important people in their lives. Its “bench-to-bedside” approach ensures that the techniques presented are evidence-based, practical, and effective. The following are among the book’s many helpful features:
- The chapters are designed to stand alone, to be shared or consulted as needed, but they also develop a coherent and sequential discussion about management of the patient with cancer, as well as concerns involving the patient’s family. Thus, the book as a whole serves as a comprehensive textbook in the field.
- The book’s structure is based on psychosocial staging, much as the disease itself is staged, and progresses from discovery to initial diagnosis, treatment intervention, remission, and so forth. Each phase has its own challenges—for patient, family, and care provider—and supportive strategies are offered.
- Because identifying those patients in need of support and treatment intervention is critical, the authors provide screening techniques, as well as an entire chapter devoted to quality of life assessment, to help clinicians recognize struggling patients and alleviate their distress.
- A final chapter addresses developing trends in psycho-oncology and suggests that international standards of care for the cancer patient must include competent and compassionate psychosocial assessment and treatment.
Concise and clinically focused, yet addressing the broad issues as well, Psycho-oncology offers cutting-edge information and invaluable assistance to physicians and mental health professionals responsible for managing patients, and the families of patients, with neoplastic disorders.
Introduction. The crisis of discovery: psychological and psychopathological reaction to the disease. Cancer: a family affair. Communicating with cancer patients and their families. Demoralization and depression in cancer. Counseling and specific psychological treatments in common clinical settings: an overview. Genetic counseling and testing for hereditary cancers: psychosocial considerations. Dimensional psychopharmacology of the cancer patient. Advancing medical education in existential dimensions of advanced cancer and palliative care. Rapid psychometric assessment of distress and depression. The value of quality of life assessment in cancer patients. Support of the dying patient: psychological issues and communication. Psycho-oncology and optimal standards of cancer care: developments, multidisciplinary team approach, and international guidelines. Index.
"This is a touchingly personal book with an international flavor. As such, it will not feel foreign to readers in any country. It reads as if one was chatting with the authors, which is quite refreshing. The information moves from conceptual to practical in a seamless fashion and will be useful to all who care for patients with cancer and their families, as well as for those who are responsible for educating clinicians. The volume is a welcome addition to the field."—Philip R. Muskin, M.D., Prof Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia Univ College Physicians Surgeons; Chief of Service, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, NY-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Univ Medical Center.
Thomas N. Wise, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Medical Director of Behavioral Services, Inova Health Systems, Fairfax, Virginia.
Massimo Biondi, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
Anna Costantini, Ph.D., is Director, Psycho-oncology Unit, and Professor of Psycho-oncology, Department of Oncological Sciences, Sant’ Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.