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Psyc 314 Cancer.doc

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PSYC 314
Frances Chen

Psyc 314: Cancer How comporable are animal and human hierarchies? Baboon and hum societies: under stable conditions, being higher on the hierarchy means less stress and better health. Being lower on the hierarchy means increased HR and BP Cancer: • Extremely rapid cell growth & proliferation • Dysfunction in part of DNAthat controls cell growth and reproduction • Heterogeneous: more than 100 different types of cancer a condition involving causing a proliferation of cells which can mass and create a tumour and these cancerous cells provide no benefit to the body and invade other, healthy cells. This happens when there is a dysfunction in a part of the DNA(a mutation) which effects the patterns of cell growth and division Over 100 different types of cancer; different types of cancer can have a different growth cycle Can stress alter the progression of cancer? commonly studied through interviewing people with cancer (retrospective--biases in remembering things) Animal studies can give you more knowledge about cancer Thaker (2006): • Thaker, Nature Medicine, 2006 • Can’t experimentally manipulate stress easily in humans, but can do it in mice • Human ovarian carcinoma cells implanted into mice • 2 hours of physical restraint stress daily for 21 days • Outcomes: tumor growth & spread at end of 21 days want to see if stress in a causal way, has an influence on cancer Studied mice--injected mice with cancerous cells and looked to see how their cancer grew They imposed stress on some of the mice through restraint stress (confine them so they cant move around for 2 hours a day) for 21 days they looked at what kind of tumour growth and spread was apparent in the mice and compared the mice which were stressed and the group that was not stressed Results: huge differences in tumour weight and spread. Over 200% increase in the weight of the tumour and the number of tumour nodules (the number of tumours present in them) in the group of mice in the restraint stress condition. Only in the stress group did they see the cancer cells spread to areas other than where the cancer cells were injected What are the difficulties that patients with cancer deal with? • Treatment-related side effects • Physical limitations • Psychosocial issues: depression, PTSD, anxiety • Changes to social support, marriage treatment related side effects: nausea, hair loss, vomiting Physical limitations: you might not be able to do the physical activities which you used to because you will experience pain Psychosocial issues: depression, PTSD, anxiety--what does this diagnosis mean for me and my future Changes to ones social network: having cancer can change the way some social relationships work. Marital partners often become caregivers for a prolonged period of time and therefore it has its tole on their relationship How do people cope with cancer? CognitiveAdaptation Theory: there is an optimal way of adapting to life threatening events and there are three critical components and those who have these will do the best: 1. Finding meaning: those who are able to see meaning in this adversity; even though this is a negative event they are able to positive outcomes they have gained (ex. it got me to see my priorities--stop being stressed at stupid things and figure out what matters)
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