What is it about?

This paper summarises all the descriptions of holistic suffering in cancer that can be found in the medical literature. It includes examination of the features of suffering, what precedes it, what its consequences are and other terms used for the same thing.

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Why is it important?

Many of the discussions about suffering do not include an explanation of what suffering actually is. By providing a definition of suffering, we allow further investigation to be better focused.


I think this is a really interesting paper because it brings together several strands of the medical and psychological literature to give a more detailed picture of what is involved in suffering, which helps us focus on how we can help people who have been diagnosed with cancer and are suffering.

Dr Megan C Best
University of Sydney

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Conceptual analysis of suffering in cancer: a systematic review, Psycho-Oncology, March 2015, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/pon.3795.
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