Over the last decade, there have been groundbreaking strides in our understanding of the multiple biological pathways by which psychosocial and behavioral factors can affect cancer progression. It is now clear that biobehavioral factors not only affect cellular immunity but both directly and indirectly modulate fundamental processes in cancer growth, including inflammation, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. There is also an emerging understanding of how psychological and behavioral factors used in interventions can impact these physiological processes. This review outlines our current understanding of the physiological mechanisms by which psychological, social, and behavioral processes can affect cancer progression. The intervention literature is discussed, along with recommendations for future research to move the field of biobehavioral oncology forward.
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