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Psychological Aspects of Childhood Cancer

Ruth Andrea Seeler, MD
JAMA. 1981;246(24):2864. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320240070038.
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This is a definitive text with 22 coauthors (one a patient) that brings together much significant work, which has been scattered throughout numerous journals not usually read by the physician. The various chapter bibliographies indicate the paucity of data published in medical journals. Thus, the pediatric hematology-oncology specialist who heads the therapeutic team has seen the merest tip of the iceberg dealing with the subject.

Malignancy in childhood is a chronic illness of uncertain outcome, with an extremely emotional impact on patient, parents, siblings, and friends. In contrast to other chronic illnesses, the exacerbations usually mean that death is closer. Survivors are psychologically marked forever, even when there are no physical abnormalities as the result of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. This book is for the living (only one chapter deals with dying, the dying child at home), something with which many physicians are uneasy.

A broad spectrum of topics is


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