Discussion Questions

A. Cancer cells have many ways of eluding immune cells that ought to destroy them. How do you suppose cancer cells developed these skills?

B. Do stressful experiences influence the development of cancer or the progression of this disease? What factors might be responsible for these actions (or lack of actions)?

B. Discuss the different types of cancer therapies and why might they be effective? Can their effectiveness be affected by lifestyles? Give examples of how they have been used clinically.

C. What is the status of genetic factors in relation to cancer occurrence? Are cultural differences a player in this regard?

D. Discuss and explain the benefits associated with psychological support in cancer patients? Are they effective in preventing cancer recurrence?

E. Explain how viruses, such as the polio virus are being used to treat cancer. Does this approach make sense to you?

F. This chapter ended on an optimistic note, essentially suggesting that there is a good possibility that cancer will eventually be beaten, perhaps in the next 50 years. Does this sound as if it is coming from a politician, or is it a likely possibility? If you were to jump into this field, what approach would you consider best to find cures for cancers?

G. Even some of the most powerful immunotherapeutic agents have had limited success in treating cancer, being beneficial in only about 20-30% of patients. In light of this, how likely is it that positive psychology can be helpful in cancer treatment? In thinking about this, differentiate the influence of positive psychology acting in a preventive versus therapeutic capacity.

H. If you were asked to design a practical programme to prevent cancer occurrence, what would this entail? How would you go about getting public buy-in to engage in this program?