Psychoneuroimmunology in Oncology
Immunologists long viewed the immune system as self-contained, functioning autonomously in defense of the body. That view is no longer tenable. Evidence that the brain and immune system interact with each other is now overwhelming, as is amply documented in other chapters of this book. In this chapter, we explore potential implications of psychoneuroimmunology for oncology, focusing first on the “conventional view” that psychological influences on immune defenses may be the mechanism by which psychological influences on immune defenses may be the mechanism by which psychosocial factors may affect the development and/or progression of cancer (Bovbjerg, 1994). We then explore other ways in which psychoneuroimmunology may be relevant for oncology, including associations with infectious disease, and possible dysfunction in regulatory loops between the brain and immune system.
KeywordsBreast Cancer Psychosocial Factor Stressful Life Event Psychosocial Intervention Immune Defense
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