Type C: A Proposed Psychosocial Risk Factor for Cancer


The Type C behaviour pattern, hypothesized to be related to the progression of cancer, was first elaborated and operationally defined in a study of psychosocial and epidemiological factors associated with malignant melanoma (Temoshok & Heller, 1981). Independently, British researchers had posed the question of whether there might be ‘a Type C for cancer?’ in an abstract published the previous year (Morris & Greer, 1980).

Assessment of Type C coping in the US has mirrored conceptualizations of how this pattern, when chronically engaged, may have negative implications for physiological and immunological functioning (Temoshok, 1987). This model was elaborated in subsequent iterations, which emphasized that the goal of coping is to maintain psychological-physiological homeostasis, and that the more closely a coping process resembles the inverted U-shaped function which ...

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