Biobehavioral pathways to cancer incidence, progression, and quality of life

Christopher P. Fagundes*, Kyle W. Murdock, Diana Andrea Chirinos Medina, Paige A. Green

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Cancer research within the fields of psychoneuroendocrinology and psychoneuroimmunology has made substantial progress in understanding how psychological factors impact cancer. Although the pathways by which stress “gets under the skin” to impact cancer incidence, progression, and quality of life are not yet fully understood, the answers to key questions about how stressful life events and the negative emotions they generate can impact cancer initiation, progression, and survivorship have advanced quite dramatically. In this review, we summarize the state of the science in a way that is accessible to a broad audience. We then discuss future directions in cancer research, with a focus on ways psychological science can contribute to the next generation of cancer care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-553
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Cancer
  • HPA axis
  • Inflammation
  • Psychoneuroimmunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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