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ISSN: 1429-8538
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vol. 22
Review paper

Fear of progression in cancer patients

Joanna Laskowska
Katarzyna Sanna

Uniwersytet SWPS, Warszawa
Psychoonkologia 2018, 22 (4): 130–135
Online publish date: 2019/12/30
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Fear of progression (FoP) refers to the fear that an illness will progress or recur, a phenomenon that can affect all chronically ill patients, for instance cancer patients. FoP is to be differentiated from the anxiety disorders included in the current classification systems of mental diseases, because it constitutes a natural response of the organism to a real illness-related and health-related threat. Despite the high demand for psychological help among patients suffering from FoP, there are no clear diagnostic criteria determining when the fear becomes dysfunctional. Furthermore, there is no consensus on a single theoretical model explaining the emergence and persistence of this phenomenon. The aim of this article is to present the most important aspects of FoP and to explain the mechanisms of its emergence based on a selected theoretical model. Moreover, the authors would like to emphasise the need to broaden the field of research on FoP as it may be one of the most significant issues that patients would like to discuss during their consultation with an oncologist or a psycho-oncologist.
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