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Psycho-oncology: History, Caracteristics and Challenge

This paper presents an overview of Psycho-oncology through a briefing of its history, its work area and its specific problems. The first studies about the body and mind connection with cancer began in Greece, but this point of view was disregarded until the 19º Century, when Freud demonstrated that certain psychic states were related to physical processes. Psychosomatic Medicine, Behavioral Medicine and Behavior Psychology, and Health Psychology have eased the way to Psycho-oncology, which is also supported by Psychoneuroimunology today. The specific characteristics of Brazilian psycho-oncologists as well as their way of working created a framework based on our culture and way of life, accounting for the contemporary development of this field in our country. However, there are still some challenges, involving aspects of the Psycho-oncology theory and its action fields, which must be faced by the professionals of this area.

Psychooncology; Cancer

Instituto de Psicologia da Universidade de São Paulo Av. Prof. Mello Moraes, 1721 - Bloco A, sala 202, Cidade Universitária Armando de Salles Oliveira, 05508-900 São Paulo SP - Brazil - São Paulo - SP - Brazil