Cancer research within the fields of psychoneuroendocrinology and psychoneuroimmunology has made substantial progress in understanding how psychological factors impact cancer. Although the pathways by which stress “gets under the skin” to impact cancer incidence, progression, and quality of life are not yet fully understood, the answers to key questions about how stressful life events and the negative emotions they generate can impact cancer initiation, progression, and survivorship have advanced quite dramatically. In this review, we summarize the state of the science in a way that is accessible to a broad audience. We then discuss future directions in cancer research, with a focus on ways psychological science can contribute to the next generation of cancer care.
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