Cancer, Sex, Drugs and Death: A Clinician Guide to the Psychological Management of Young People with Cancer

Dr Toni Lindsay




This book is a must read for any psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist or counsellor dealing with a young client undergoing cancer treatment. A cancer diagnosis can profoundly affect a young person's psychological, emotional, developmental and cognitive functioning. The environment in which they find themselves is unpredictable and burdened by challenging decisions. It is vital therefore that no matter what your therapeutic approach, you are able to identify the normal reactions that young people and their families experience when dealing with their cancer, both while treatment is happening and when it is completed. This will enable you to better tailor your therapeutic interventions and manage your client's psychological symptoms.

A strong clinical focus throughout the text provides guidance and structure, showing how to work effectively with young people through learning the language of cancer diagnosis and treatment so that the therapeutic skills you already possess are translatable to cancer-related issues. Through the use of composite case studies, examples, and clinical guides, Toni Lindsay brings her many years of experience working with young people and their families into a practical and insightful guide to upskill even the most senior of clinicians. She explores the clinical implications of treatment, diagnosis, survivorship and end of life, and the way that young people experience and negotiate their way through such adversity.

About the Author

Toni Lindsay is a clinical and health psychologist who has been working with both adults and adolescents for many years. She works at Chris O'Brien Lifehouse and is a specialist in the care of adolescents and young adults with cancer. In addition to this work, she has sat on several committees and working parties about the psychological impact of chronic and acute health conditions. She is an Adjunct Associate Lecturer at the University of Sydney Nursing School and has a keen interest in working with clinicians of all disciplines around providing best practice care to cancer patients. She describes her therapy style as eclectic, working from Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy as well as an Existential Psychotherapy frameworks.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1 Introduction to a Cancer Diagnosis
  • 2 Chemotherapy
  • 3 Radiotherapy
  • 4 Surgery
  • 5 Stem Cell Transplants
  • 6 Psychological Impact of Medications
  • 7 Building a Therapeutic Relationship
  • 8 Relationships
  • 9 Fertility and Sexuality
  • 10 Drugs and Alcohol
  • 11 Body Image
  • 12 Managing Depression in the Cancer Context
  • 13 Risk Assessment and Self-Harm
  • 14 Decision-making
  • 15 Competency
  • 16 Anxiety in the Context of Cancer
  • 17 Anticipatory Nausea and Vomiting
  • 18 Survivorship
  • 19 Scan Anxiety
  • 20 Recurrence
  • 21 Engagement of palliative care
  • 22 Building a Legacy
  • 23 The end of life
  • 24 Support for the Family After a Young Person Dies
  • Reference List