Framing the Cancer Patients’ Life Experiences and Attitudes: a Psychosomatic Approach

Framing the Cancer Patients’ Life Experiences and Attitudes: a Psychosomatic Approach | George MACARIE, Ruxandra FILIPESCU & Ana Voichita TEBEANU
Abstract: Our study addresses the relationship between life experiences, interpretations and the presumed somatic effects in terminal diseases, especially in cancer. The causes and the evolution of cancer were subject in the beginning to experiments and presuppositions, and only later the knowledge began to rely on experimental data and countless case studies. Beside the imperative need to find a treatment, there are numerous questions regarding diagnosis, early intervention or our capacity to do something to prevent the onset of this illness. These questions also include aspects as vulnerabilities, risks and psychological factors. One of the schools of thought that emerged was the psychosomatic medicine, who focused on the relationship between body impact of life experiences and attitudes. Considering this perspective, we searched for individual and social features, and the individual attitudes or beliefs that can be related with the onset or evolution of cancer in a number of cases. Our subjects were 7 patients, diagnosed with cancer, treated in the Palliative Care Unit in Municipal Hospital Pascani, Romania. They agreed to participate to the evaluation and to discuss openly their life experiences’ histories. Using a case-study design with qualitative and quantitative measures, our analysis suggest a relationship between characteristics of the lived experiences, personal responses (reaction) and the localization and the type of cancer involved.
Keywords: palliative care, cancer, psychosomatic approach, emotional expressions.