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Lecture 11

Psychology 2036A/B Lecture : psych 2036- Week 11


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2036A/B
Professor
Doug Hazlewood
Lecture
11

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Week 11
Cancer
Chapter Outline
Opening Story: Can Cell Phones Cause Cancer?
Section I: Defining Cancer
Section II: Risk Factors for Cancer
Section III: Cancer Treatments and Preventions
Section IV: Medical and Psychological Treatments
Chapter Objectives
Define benign and malignant tumors.
Identify and define the four major types of cancer.
Identify and give examples of five risk factors for cancer.
Compare mortality rates for cancer with those of other major illnesses.
Describe how nutrition and exercise help prevent cancer.
Identify the benefits of and barriers to breast self-examination.
Explain the benefits of psychotherapeutic interventions for cancer treatment.
Explain the benefits of problem-focused coping as a psychological intervention for
cancer management.
Explain the benefits of social support as a psychological intervention for cancer
management
Opening Story: Can Cell Phones Cause Cancer?
Reginald Lewis, 50 years old, and a successful lawyer, businessman, and chief
executive office of TLC Beatrice International
Developed a cancerous brain tumor, which lead to his death in 1993
Doctors proposed that Lewis’s constant use of his cell phone caused the malignant
tumor
Lewis used his cell phone extensively for over 10 years beginning in 1983
The belief that cell phones contributed to Lewis’ brain tumor is based on studies
that report that cell phones emit radiowaves that, over time, promote the growth of
tumors
o What is more, the studies also suggest that the tumors were usually the same
size and occurred at the same place on the brain as a spot that paralleled the
location of antennas on first-generation cell phones
Opponents of the this theory cite the extremely low levels of radiowaves emitted
from cell phones and the hundreds of millions of people who use cell phones
without developing brain cancer
It is important to clearly state that the association between cell phones and brain
tumors to date is unclear
Cell phone technology has changed considerably over the past 30 years

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There are no longtiudinal studies on the long-term use of digital cell phones,
therefore researchers are unable to determine whether long-term use of the newer
digital phones presents the same health hazards as does heavy use of analog mobile
phones
The results of research and medical treatments have led us to recalssify as a chronic,
rather than a terminal, illness
A diagnosis of cancer no longer means imminent death. Instead, people with cancer
can live one or two decades past the diagnosis, sometimes dying of other, wholly
unrelated causes
Section 1 Defining Cancer
Cancer represents a number of diseases. In fact, some cite over 200 different types of
cancers, many with different origins
A cancer is a collection of cells that reproduce in an uncontrolled manner, forming a
mass of cells
The exact cause of any specific cancer is difficult to determine
Research has shown that chemical agents (tobacco smoke or asbestos), biological
agents (viruses or bacterial parasites), environmental factors (ultraviolet light and
radiation), and genetic factors, may contribute to abnormal or uncontrolled cell
growth
Some indiviudal health behaviours also increase the risk of cancer (i.e. poor nutrition,
smoking, obesity or overweight, physical inactivity, exposure to sexually
transmitted diseases, and HIV)
Tumors
Two types of tumors are possible:
o A benign is a large mass of overgrown cells that are not
life threatening. It may grow in size, but they do not
reproduce or spread to other parts of the body
o Malignant are life threatening. They consist of a large
mass of cells that grow and multiply uncontrollably
and interfere with other body organs and functions. These tumors are
cancerous , and if undetected, they can metastasize, or spread to other parts of
the body. If a cancer has metastasized, it is unlikely to be contained or
effectively treated, so the outcome is usually fatal
Categories of Cancer
There are four principal categories of cancer: carcinomas, sarcomas, leukemia,
lymphomas
Carcinomas
o Carcinomas are cancers derived from epithelial cells (i.e. basal cell carcinoma,
commonly called skin cancer)
o Skin cancer is the most frequently occurring yet the least deadly form of
cancer in the U.S.

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o Other forms of carcinomas include breast, liver, bladder, and prostate cancer
o These four types of carcinomas are more likely to be fatal than is basal cell
carcinoma
o The most frequently occurring form of the disease is not always the deadliest
Sarcomas
o Sarcomas are soft tissue cancers that can occur in a number of sites in the
body, including fat, muscle, nerves, tendons, and other tissues that support
organs
o Sarcomas often spread to other places in the body, and therefore, they are
usually malignant tumors
o Sarcomas can be caused by genetic diseases, exposure to chemicals such as
herbicides or arsenic, and some infectious viruses
Leukemia
o Leukemia develops in blood-producing tissues , most commonly in the bone
marrow
o Bone marrow produces most of the body’s blood cells, including all of the red
and most of the white blood cells
o Leukemia is best characterized as an uncontrolled growth of WBCs which are
abnormal
o These abnormal cells are unable to perform the protective function of the
body’s more mature white blood cells, and because of the reduced supply of
mature white blood cells, the body’s immune system weakens over time,
leaving the body vulnerable to infections
o Leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children in the U.S. and Europe
o People with leukemia may be treated with bone marrow transplants the
transplanted marrow helps replace the disease cells
o More than 70% of individuals in need of bone marrow transplants are unable
to find suitable non-related donors with compatible bone marrow
o This fact helps to explain the high mortality rates associated with this
infrequent but deadly form of cancer
Lymphomas
o Lymphomas are malignant and form in the lymphatic system
o Recall that the lymphatic system consists of lymph vessels and organs that
produce white blood cells (lymphocytes)
o When lymphocytes become abnormal, they are unable to effectively destroy
invading viruses or other infections. Abnormal lymph glands also cannot
prevent infections from spreading to other parts of the body
o Lymphomas are usually classified as either non-hodgkins or hodgkins
o Non-Hodgkinds lymphoma is frequently a fatal form of lymphoma because the
tumors are usually malignant
o Hodgkins disease is less severe , and although it also infects the lymph glands,
it is less likely to spread to other organs
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