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Curr Oncol. 2008 Aug;15(4):185-7.

Healing and survivorship: what makes a difference?

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Biomedical Ethics Unit, McGill University, Montreal, QC.


Literature demonstrating the importance of social relationships for cancer survivorship is accumulating. Building on that literature, the term "Healing Ties" refers to the scientific and popular factors supporting the idea that relationships and community are essential for healing. However, difficulties arise in assessing the effect of social support for survivorship.The current paper reviews the role in survivorship of social support, with respect to the explanatory model provided by neuro-oncology and psycho-neuro-immunology. Taking cognizance of the importance of social relationships, the model of cancer rehabilitation aims, through its interdisciplinary framework, to restore a sense of well-being and to facilitate healing by optimizing the capability for full social relationships and engagement with the world.


Cancer; healing; narrative; rehabilitation; social relationships; survivorship


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