Anne Han, B A John Y Koo, M D

BOX 63-1 Overview

•  Psychosocial issues affect skin cancer patients from the time of diagnosis to the period after intervention and affect melanoma (MM) and nonmelanoma (NMSC) patients in different ways.

•  Delay in seeking a diagnosis of skin cancer, while primarily caused by lack of knowledge, is influenced by psychological factors such as fear and denial.

•  Psychological reaction to a diagnosis of skin cancer, as well as the ability to live and cope with the disease, can have a considerable impact on patient morbidity and mortality.

•  Existing quality of life (QOL) studies demonstrate minimal impact, and a disease-specific Facial Skin Cancer Index is currently being developed to more accurately assess QOL in skin cancer patients.

•  Postsurgical disfigurement can lead to psychological sequelae including depression, anxiety, and social phobia.

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