The given article, titled “A Cognitive-Affective Analysis of Cancer Behavior in the Elderly: Are You as Healthy as You Feel?” is the third chapter in Springer’s publication, titled “Effective Health Behavior in Older Adults.” The authors of this article are Suzanne M. Miller, James C. Knowles, Robert A. Schnoll, and Joanne S. Buzaglo. The article analyzes the psychological effect of the general perception about health in instances where a person is diagnosed with cancer.
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After brief demography of the elderly population in the United States, the authors also discuss the elderly cancer patients (while comparing the occurrence of cancer in male and female elderly people). The authors believe that in spite of the fact that it is impossible to thwart the occurrence of breast cancer, there is a possibility of minimizing the mortality rate (due to breast cancer). Such an endeavor can be successful by following a systematic screening schedule so that it would be possible to detect breast cancer at an early stage.
But, at the same time, it is quite possible that once a female is diagnosed with breast cancer, she might experience depressing psychological effects. The authors claim that the younger breast cancer patients have more negative psychological effects than the elderly patients. Such psychological effects persist even after the treatment has been stopped. As time passes, the patients get more worried because they think that the disease might recur, and they might have to face social and sexual obscurity. The younger patients are more susceptible to such problems than the elderly ones.
The authors are of the opinion that the future psychological condition of cancer patients depends on the way they perceive the situation. It is the tendency of patients to have a pessimistic view about their disease and its impact on their lives. Such an interpretation alters the significance and implications of the disease and its effects. Even people who are not affected by breast cancer have the tendency to misjudge their probability of being affected by breast cancer.
But one good thing in such cases is that such people tend to follow the cancer guidelines conscientiously. The authors, referring to survey results, claim that younger women have the tendency to overestimate their probability of being affected by breast cancer. The authors further suggest that people having anxiety and depression are prone to high levels of negative psychological conditions that may desist them from following standard health schedules.
The comparison between the perceptions of young and elderly people about cancer and its implications is very informative. Considering the fact that diagnosis and treatment (wherever possible) of cancer has gained momentum during the past couple of years, most of the elderly people are not aware of any efforts being made by the health department to control and minimize the mortality rate (due to cancer). It is a human tendency to anticipate danger or risk involved in specific situations.
So, it is obvious that women (especially the younger ones) have the tendency to perceive greater risks associated with cancer. A majority of elderly people do not have any specific ambition in life, but the younger generation is full of ambitions, and their overestimation of being prone to cancer results in their psychological imbalance. They feel that they will not be able to pursue their ambitions if they get affected by the deadly disease.