Couples coping with cancer

Halford, W. Kim, Chambers, Suzanne and Clutton, Samantha (2010). Couples coping with cancer. In Nancy A. Pachana, Ken Laidlaw and Bob G. Knight (Ed.), Casebook of Clinical Geropsychology: International Perspectives on Practice (pp. 73-90) New York, United States: Oxford University Press.

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Author Halford, W. Kim
Chambers, Suzanne
Clutton, Samantha
Title of chapter Couples coping with cancer
Title of book Casebook of Clinical Geropsychology: International Perspectives on Practice
Place of Publication New York, United States
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication Year 2010
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Year available 2010
ISBN 9780199583553
Editor Nancy A. Pachana
Ken Laidlaw
Bob G. Knight
Chapter number 5
Start page 73
End page 90
Total pages 18
Total chapters 17
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract/Summary I felt well, I try to look after myself -- keept fit -- and cancer was a bolt out of the blue, a terrible shock. I didn't hear anything the doctor said after the words 'You have breast cancer.' (Clare, 81) I was trying to be strong for her, trying not to show my fear. (Tom, 83) I didn't know what to say to her, I was trying not to cry myself. Kelly, daughter, 51) My friends kept asking me 'are you sure you're OK?', but I really was doing fine. Cancer was just something that came along, Dave and I saw we had to deal with it -- so we did. (Cheryl, 73) Although John and I had a good marriage, I think we had started to take each other for granted. John's prostate cancer changed all that. As we shared the struggle through the recovery from surgery we talked more, we got closer. We treasure our time together more now. (Judy, 71) After prostate surgery I had 6 weeks at home. I went from working 60 hours per week to spending all my time at home. I started to feel I was losing who I was. (Rod, 62) What I struggled with most was not knowing how to support Rod. The more I tried to talk to him the more he withdrew. (Kath, 61) As people age, they are more likely to suffer from physical illnesses and disabilities, which present significant challenges to the sufferer, partner, and family. One of the most common illnesses associated with aging is cancer. As the above quotes illustrate, reactions to the diagnosis and treatment of cancers are highly variable among the sufferers, their partner, and family members. This chapter reviews the psychological effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment on older people, with a particular emphasis on how couples cope with cancer. The focus is on two of the most common forms of cancer for older people: breat cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Aside from the high prevalence of these forms of cancer, we focus on breast and prostate cancer as each impact upon parts of the body associated with sexuality and gender identity, and poses particular challenges to the aging couple.
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Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
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Created: Wed, 23 Mar 2011, 08:43:36 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology