Fighting for Those Touched by Cancer

One out of every three people receiving treatment for cancer also struggle with anxiety and clinical depression. Even when cancer patients survive the disease, they suffer from these psychological conditions at twice the rate of the general population.

Tom Merluzzi, psychology professor and director of the Notre Dame Laboratory for Psycho-Oncology Research, is working to reduce that rate. Inspired by the resilience his late wife and mother showed throughout their diagnoses and treatments, he began to study coping skills and how they impact a patient’s quality of life. The result of his work is the Cancer Behavior Inventory (CBI), a widely used measure of self-efficacy translated into more than a dozen languages and used worldwide. His hope is to pinpoint coping skills that aid in the recovery process, so we can help those who struggle. And that one day, cancer patients will receive psychological care alongside surgical, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

About the Series:

The University of Notre Dame’s award-winning “What Would You Fight For?” series showcases the work, scholarly achievements, and global impact of Notre Dame faculty, students, and alumni. These two-minute segments, each originally aired during a home football game broadcast on NBC, highlight the University’s proud moniker, the Fighting Irish, and tell the stories of the members of the Notre Dame family who fight to bring solutions to a world in need.

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November 14, 2014

Health and SocietyCancerCollege of Arts and LettersCollege of ScienceDiseaseHarper Cancer Research InstituteMedicinePsychologyResearchThomas Merluzzi