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November 7, 1980

Mind and Cancer Prognosis

Author Affiliations

M. D. Anderson Hospital & Tumor Institute Houston


edited by Basil A. Stoll, 203 pp, $27, New York, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1979.

JAMA. 1980;244(18):2106. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310180070046

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Host factors have been receiving more attention by many students of the cancer problem in recent years. The immunocompetence of the host has received the greatest attention, but the psychosomatic aspects of cancer have not been ignored. Stoll and his numerous coauthors, from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, who have produced this collection of 15 essays on various aspects of the relationship between the mind and the prognosis in cancer, are to be congratulated. They have called attention to the evidence that a patient's attitude toward his cancer may have some influence on his prognosis. In the opening chapter, Stoll poses the two questions that the book attempts to answer: Can psychological factors affect prognosis in the cancer patient? Can psychological support improve cancer prognosis?

In answer to the first question, the authors point out that variation in the emotional status of the patient might explain the periods