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(1954). Psychosomatic Medicine. XIV, 1952: A Psychosomatic Survey of Cancer of the Breast. Catherine L. Bacon, Richard Renneker, and Max Cutler. Pp. 453-460.. Psychoanal Q., 23:305.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychosomatic Medicine. XIV, 1952: A Psychosomatic Survey of Cancer of the Breast. Catherine L. Bacon, Richard Renneker, and Max Cutler. Pp. 453-460.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:305

Psychosomatic Medicine. XIV, 1952: A Psychosomatic Survey of Cancer of the Breast. Catherine L. Bacon, Richard Renneker, and Max Cutler. Pp. 453-460.

Forty patients with cancer of the breast were studied to determine what factor—sometimes, perhaps, emotional—causes the change from cellular order to cellular chaos. Certain major characteristics were found: 1, masochistic character structure; 2, inhibited sexuality; 3, inhibited motherhood; 4, inability to discharge or deal appropriately with anger, aggressiveness or hostility, which were covered over by a façade of pleasantness; 5, unresolved conflict with the mother, handled by denial and unrealistic sacrifice; and 6, delay in securing treatment. The authors are impressed by the unresolved conflict with the mother and the demonstrable guilt in half the patients. They consider the guilt suggestive of an internalized self-destructive drive in the cancer patient, but do not know whether this was a starting point for the biological forces which led to the cellular growth, or whether the cancer only represented a convenient organic disease that fitted into the emotional needs of the moment. They believe that there is a connection between the psyche and cancer, that they have a 'feeling' for the life history associated with malignancy, and that they observe not a reaction to the occurrence of cancer but a lifelong pattern of behavior leading up to cancer. They are careful to admit a weakness of method and a need for further investigation. They do not wish to establish a 'cancer character' nor to imply any psychological specificity.

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Article Citation

(1954). Psychosomatic Medicine. XIV, 1952. Psychoanal. Q., 23:305

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