Aim: This article focuses on the role of psychology with regards to the evolvement of cancer, the psychological effects of cancer and the role of psychology in treating the symptoms of cancer.
Methods: The available literature in MEDLINE, regarding the role of mentality in the appearance of neoplasia was searched for related articles from 1978 to 2017 including terms such as mentality, cancer, and Adverse outcome.
Results: Modern medicine was established during the 19th century. Skepticism arose during the 20th century concerning the biomedical model of medicine. That skepticism was caused by the appearance of Psychosomatic Medicine, Behavioral Health, and Behavioral Medicine and recently by Health Psychology. According to traditional medicine, disease had probably a psychological background but not a psychological cause. Cancer caused misery, but it was not considered to be related to the appearance of cancer. The placebo effect, the so-called psychosomatic diseases, the individual differences on the recovery and the findings on the fragility, make doctors turn to other scientific fileds, which could help to the conception and the confrontation of these facts. A relationship between medicine and human sciences such as psychology has appeared.
Conclusion: Psychology plays a vital role in comprehending both the medical and ethical sides in cancer not only in terms of beliefs and behaviors associated with the onset of cancer (e.g. smoking) but also the psychological consequences, treatment of symptoms, improvement of quality of life, the interval up to the point of the outbreak of the symptoms in disease and longevity.
Key words: medicine, mentality, psychology, patient, neoplasia