Genetic Testing for Cancer: Psychological Approaches for Helping Patients and Families

Pages: 305
Item #: 4317044
ISBN: 978-1-59147-110-3
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2005
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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In the coming decades, as more genes are found which convey predisposition to serious diseases, genetics will play an increasingly important role in the lives of patients seeking psychotherapeutic and family therapy services. To help patients with concerns about inherited predisposition to cancer and genetic testing, mental health professionals need to understand the psychological issues patients and families experience when they confront the prospect of learning what fate has dealt them through their genes.

Genetic Testing for Cancer offers a thorough base of information about genetics, explanations of what is and is not known about cancer genetics, and descriptions of the genetic counseling process. But most importantly, this volume extensively reviews the psychological problems and dilemmas that patients concerned about hereditary cancer experience. The author skillfully and insightfully delves into personal and emotional concerns, the impact of receiving genetic test results, family and child-related matters, the challenge of making momentous decisions about prophylactic surgery, as well as complex social and ethical issues.

Because psychologists and other mental health providers are trained in understanding and optimizing complex family interactions, they are in a prime position to help individuals cope with health-related threats and with the reality of inherited illness. They are, thus, poised to improve the quality of life of patients with issues related to the impact of hereditary cancer predisposition.

Table of Contents




Introduction: The Genetic Revolution: Where are We?

  1. Genes and Cancer: The Basics
  2. Cancer Genes and Cancer Risk
  3. Genetic Counseling for Cancer Genes
  4. Emotional Baggage: Unresolved Grief, Emotional Distress, Risk Perception, and Health Beliefs and Behaviors
  5. Opening Pandora's Box: Disclosure of the Results of Cancer Genetic Testing
  6. Prophylactic Surgery
  7. A Family Matter
  8. Children and Genetic Testing
  9. Social and Ethical Issues: Duty to Warn, Autonomy, Privacy, and Discrimination
  10. Genetics and Social Change

Additional Resources


About the Author

Author Bio
Andrea Farkas Patenaude, PhD, is a psychologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Children's Hospital of Boston and an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She was chair of APA's Genetics Advisory Council and is active on a number of national organizations devoted to the education of professionals about genetics. She is both a psychosocial clinician and an active researcher in the field of cancer genetics and has lectured nationally and internationally on this and related topics.
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