Cancer’s Effect on Identity

This post was written by a student in Susan Schuyler’s Narrative, Rhetoric, and Identity class at Stanford University. Each student in this class will complete a research-based argument related to the course topic.

Chris Jackson

I have chosen to write about the different forms of self-identity assumed by cancer patients during and after treatment. So far, this topic seems to be a little complex, as I have little background in psychology. However, I am very interested in pursuing medicine as a career, and I feel as if this idea is a fascinating way to combine the topic of this class with my interest in medicine. I have read a few scholarly articles on the subject already, and it is clear that there is not an established set of rules for the types of identity a cancer patient assumes. This seems somewhat logical, because we as humans react to hardship in very different ways. Furthermore, varying personalities before a diagnosis of cancer could have a hand in making post-diagnosis identity hard to define. Despite the uncertainty, there is no doubt that this research is incredibly important in terms of shedding light on a possible optimal way in which cancer patients can be treated psychologically during and after chemotherapy.

 

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This entry was posted in CCR exchange: Stanford-CCNY, Fall 2010: Humanities, Identity, and Social Justice. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Cancer’s Effect on Identity

  1. ccrvisitor says:

    I must confess I do not know a lot about cancer treatment. I do know that cancer is a very scary disease. I assumed that when one was diagnosed with cancer they either became severely depressed and withdrew from society; or chose to live their remaining days carefree and enjoying all they could i.e. a bucket list or live their lives as if they did not have cancer in essence ignoring the disease until the end.
    I am interested in learning the psychological aspects of the disease that patients and care givers have overcome in the treatable forms of cancer. This must be very challenging considering that cancer is often fatal and as you mentioned people respond differently to hardship.

    Manthi
    CCNY

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