Much recent work has focused on the interrelationships among environmental, psychological and physiological phenomena involved in immune-related disorders, with special emphasis being given to neoplastic processes. The present review looks first at the physiological pathways involved in the body's assorted and alternating responses to stressful environmental and psychological conditions and the immune system sequelae following each of two distinct psychophysiological coping responses—active coping and passive coping/helplessness reaction. Psychoimmunological findings about stressful life events, bereavement and mental depression as stressors are integrated with current psychoneuroimmunological postulates. A framework is outlined that may have utility for understanding the relationship among chronic psychological emotional stress in its many forms, accompanying neurohormonal changes, and increased susceptibility to immune-mediated neoplastic growth. Finally, the recently evolved concepts of hyperadaptosis and cancrophilia are employed to further integrate theoretical pathways with clinical findings in the hopes of presenting a fertile base on which others may plan and conduct empirical research and intervention strategies.
- neuroendocrine. corticosteroid
- passive coping
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Applied Psychology