REVIEW – October 2009

The meaning of life experience in cancer treatment


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People, involved in malignant tumours whether as a result of becoming a patient, or professionally, working with cancer patients, live emotionally highly loaded lives. The meaning and features of cancer and cancer treatments make cancer patients psychologically and socially vulnerable, probably more so than people suffering from any other disease. The nature of this vulnerability influences the lives  of the patients, their significant others, medical personnel and the whole process of cancer treatment. Cancer is an extremely complex phenomenon. To describe this phenomenon, Loma Feigenberg, a psychologist who worked with Swedish cancer patients, uses the word “world”. Only some of the psychosocial aspects that need attention in cancer care are discussed in this paper.