Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría
Print version ISSN 0034-7450
In essence all patients that received a cancer diagnosis have an initial response that includes stress, distress, or emotional discomfort. A cancer diagnosis affects the patient and his family in multiple areas. The word cancer by itself brings a high level of uncertainty and fear, which generates high demands for the patient and his family. It has been established that 30-50 % of patients with a cancer diagnosis have a significant degree of distress that requires treatment by professional staff. Depression and Anxiety are the most frequent disorders present in these patients, unfortunately, very often, they are ignored and not treated. Patients that have difficulties adjusting to their new situation clearly represent a challenge to the treatment team. The team suddenly faces the responsibility to answer to multiple psycho-social problems. Psycho-oncology, as a subspecialty in the oncology area, was developed in order to have a better understanding of the psychosocial aspects of the cancer patient, and therefore provide a more appropriate care for these patients. In this article we intent to discuss the psychosomatic treatments available for the cancer patient. The foundations of these treatments are the psychological responses of patients and their families during the different stages of disease (psychosocial) and the influence in morbidity and mortality by aspects related to behavior, social norms, and individual psychological state (psychobiology). We will discuss treatments with emphasis on prevention, psychotherapy, psychopharmacology and alternative therapies.
Keywords : Neoplasms; prevention; psychotherapy.