© 2014

Behavioural Oncology

Psychological, Communicative, and Social Dimensions


  • Combines expertise of a linguist specializing in doctor-patient communication and discourse analysis with that of a behavioral biologist with expertise in disease evolution

  • Chapters include a summary of main conclusions and a list of topics for discussion

  • Fuses knowledge of biology, psychology, and social science into the understanding of the behavioral aspects of cancer patients


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Marisa Cordella, Aldo Poiani
    Pages 1-10
  3. Marisa Cordella, Aldo Poiani
    Pages 11-79
  4. Marisa Cordella, Aldo Poiani
    Pages 81-223
  5. Marisa Cordella, Aldo Poiani
    Pages 225-278
  6. Marisa Cordella, Aldo Poiani
    Pages 279-349
  7. Marisa Cordella, Aldo Poiani
    Pages 351-460
  8. Marisa Cordella, Aldo Poiani
    Pages 461-550
  9. Marisa Cordella, Aldo Poiani
    Pages 551-662
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 663-802

About this book


Medical, educational, and public health efforts have reduced the spread of many major diseases, yet cancer perseveres, in spite of continuing research and improvements in practice. Especially promising among therapeutic strategies are ones that recognise patients as individuals with thoughts, feelings--and speech.

 Rooted in deep understanding of the mutual  relationship between behavior and cancer, Behavioural Oncology combines extensive clinical wisdom and empirical data to illuminate the psychological, social, and existential aspects of cancer, and to offer a framework for empathic, patient-centered care. Chapters delve into the psychobiology of long-term illness, examining stress, pain, fatigue, sensory and sleep disturbances, and other quality of life issues as well as considerations of age, gender, culture, and comorbidity. The book's emphasis on linguistic and communicative aspects of cancer--and practical skills from respecting patient narratives to delivering bad news--adds necessary depth to concepts of the therapeutic relationship. In this way, the authors warn about overmedicalizing cases to the point of losing patient identity. Major areas of the coverage include:

  • Biology and behavior in cancer prevention and suppression.
  • The psychology of cancer patients: emotions, cognition, and personality
  • Social dimensions, including stigma, coping, and social support
  • Language, communication, and cross-cultural issues
  • Existential, spiritual, and end-of-life concerns
  • Doctor-patient relationships
  • The psychological benefits of complementary therapies

Bringing new scope and substance to familiar mind/body constructs, Behavioural Oncology is a definitive reference for a spectrum of healthcare  professionals, among them health and clinical psychologists, oncologists and family physicians, oncology nurses, and clinical social workers. Its discussion questions and summaries make it a suitable text for undergraduate and graduate courses in related topics.


Behavioral aspects of cancer Behavioral oncology Cancer and hearing Cancer and human behavior Cancer and olfaction Cancer and pain Cancer and religion Cancer and sexuality Cancer and sleep Cancer and social stigma Cancer and spirituality Cancer and taste Cancer and vision Cognitive effects of cancer Complementary therapies for cancer Doctor-patient relationship Existential aspects of cancer Health communication Physician-patient communication Psychological aspects of cancer Social aspects of cancer

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Languages and Comparative Cultural StudiesUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

About the authors

Maria Cordella is senior lecturer in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics at Monash University, Victoria, Australia. Aldo Poiani is a research associate in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University, Victoria, Australia.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals
Public Health