The etiology of anxiety for the patient experiencing cancer is often multifocal and persistent in origin. Hence, because of anxiety's chronic nature, the patient's overall quality of life may be negatively affected. This article will identify sources of anxiety throughout the cancer experience. Premorbid personality factors, treatment-related sources, and anxiety-laden issues around the time of imminent death or cure will be discussed. The relationship of family anxiety to patient anxiety, along with the delineation of nursing interventions, will be outlined for use throughout the entire oncologic illness continuum.
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