Forgotten psycho-oncology: the need for psychotherapy and psychosocial rehabilitation in the prevention of cancer recurrence and metastases

Матреницький В.Л.

Summary. In the review from the standpoint of the diathesis-stress concept of diseases historical and modern data on the role of psychosocial factors in the onset and recurrence of oncological diseases are considered. As a source of diathesis, unfavorable conditions of ontogenetic development, negative experiences of the child in the dysfunctional family and the specific psychosomatic type of personality are considered. They forms the excessive reactivity of bodily stress-realizing systems against the background of an unsatisfactory person’s ability to cope with stresses. Such provocative factors in the subsequent period of life can be a powerful psycho-traumatic situations, usually associated with the experiences of loss, or/and unresolved inter-and intrapersonal conflicts. As a result, chronic psychophysiological stress develops, which gradually weakens the protective reserves of the body and leads to disorders of metabolism, arising of hopelessness, depression and anti-vital feelings. After a course of medical treatment, this condition is often further exacerbated. Psychological problems are not resolved, maladaptive personal qualities and lifestyles do not change, professional psychotherapeutic care does not requested. These conditions contribute to the occurrence of relapses and the development of metastases.
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