It is hard to realize that an elderly patient's visit to you is likely the only trip outside his or her apartment for the week and the only contact with someone other than family or an aide. Doctor visits sometimes become the elderly's primary contact with the larger world.
Jimmie C. Holland, MD
Dr. Bernard Fox has served as the mentor and unbiased monitor of psychological, social, and behavioral research in cancer as it has evolved over the past 20 years. The thoughtful review in this issue of the current status of this research is extremely valuable for oncologists who must deal with patients' concerns as to whether their personality, emotions, or recent stresses caused their cancer or its progression. Media reports of psychological studies proposing new evidence of mind-body relationships and cancer are read by frightened patients who are trying to make some meaning out of their plight. The physician who has read Dr. Fox's article can provide a strong antidote to patients' inappropriate assumptions that they have somehow caused their cancer.