Printer Friendly

Good news about bad news.

Good news about bad news

"Cancer.' The very mention of the word evokes disturbing feelings and images. Cancer patients and their families undergo tremendous psychological trauma, and informing someone that they may develop cancer can trigger a variety of stress-induced problems.

But researchers at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta report that workers who are notified that they have been exposed to a cancer-causing chemical may not experience significant emotional trauma. J. Larry Hornsby and co-workers randomly selected 140 workers exposed to a chemical associated with bladder cancer. Several tests of emotional and family functioning were completed by each subject within four weeks of an initial medical screening at which they learned of the risk, and six months later. The workers, who were mostly black males with a high school education or less, showed no evidence of family disruption or psychological trauma, conclude the investigators in the April 5 JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION. In this sample, at least, learning about a cancer risk did not seem to create enduring or severe stress.

This finding bolsters efforts to inform other segments of the population about the danagers of environmental pollutants, writes Mardi Horowitz of the University of California at San Francisco in the same issue. Nevertheless, there are some people who experience persisting distress after such news, he adds. Being told of a health risk may add to "preexisting fears, special sensitivities or personal preoccupations' and result in an unusually high level of distress, he says. Persisting distress is often signaled, notes Horowitz, by ruminations over the bad news, extended periods of mild depression and sleep disruptions.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:study finds no significant emotional trauma in people exposed to cancer-causing chemical
Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 20, 1985
Previous Article:The trouble with technical data.
Next Article:Hyperthermia for cancer: warming up.

Related Articles
American forces press service (Oct. 3, 2005): Pace issues guidance to help military 'shape the future'.
A hopeful clue for resistant MS.
Stem cells & MS: what the investigators see.
Battling ageism in cancer negligence cases: many people view the elderly as having little to live for and even less to offer society. Uncovering...
Women aren't "small men": women's health issues are different than men's and need to be addressed specifically.
Risk factor: throat cancer linked to virus spread by sex.
This trick boosts cancer's spread.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters