Cancer and addictions: The potential for family and staff collusion

Carole F. Seddon, James R. Zabora, Elizabeth D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Although often sensationalized in the media, addictive behaviors and co-dependency cause painful dilemmas for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, many people with these disorders also are diagnosed with cancer or have a family member with cancer. Addiction and the problematic coping style associated with it are rarely addressed by oncology staff. However, data collected through the Johns Hopkins Cancer Counseling Center indicate that 21 of 36 patients referred for long-term counseling were addicts and that IS were co-dependent. The authors address the problem of identifying patients and families with these disorders and describe appropriate methods of helping them cope with the added distress caused by the diagnosis of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-97
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 20 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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