Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2009;17(6):361-76. doi: 10.3109/10673220903465700.


The psychosocial and psychiatric sequelae of cancer are highly prevalent, diverse, and challenging for clinicians to manage. A growing body of literature has generated methods for the reliable screening, assessment, and management of these sequelae, including the treatment of psychiatric disorders that may complicate the course of cancer. To meet the specific needs of this patient population, psycho-oncologists worldwide have begun to train more and more social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists who can provide consultative services in support of the psychiatric care of cancer patients and their families at all stages of disease, including cancer survivorship. This review presents an overview of the history of psycho-oncology, common psychological responses to cancer, factors in adapting to cancer, epidemiology, the assessment and management of major psychiatric disorders in cancer patients, cancer-related fatigue, the cognitive effects of cancer and cancer treatment, issues related to the psychosocial care of families (including bereavement), and psychological issues for staff caring for cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Comorbidity
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Patient Care Team / trends
  • Psychiatry / trends
  • Psychosomatic Medicine / trends
  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Referral and Consultation / trends
  • Sick Role*
  • Social Support
  • Specialization / trends
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide Prevention


  • Psychotropic Drugs