Is Alexithymia Related to Colon Cancer? A Survey of Patients Undergoing a Screening Colonoscopy Examination

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Abstract

The current study examined whether alexithymia is involved in colon cancer as has been found in breast and uterine cancer research. The TAS-20 was administered before examination to patients who underwent colon cancer screening. Histological data were obtained from the biopsies. Gender, age, education, smoking and drinking habits, and personal and family histories of neoplastic colonic disease were controlled for in the analysis. Both adenoma and adenocarcinoma patients had higher TAS-20 scores than negative cases, and both high and intermediate levels of alexithymia were implicated. Difficulty identifying feelings and externally oriented thinking were the most prominent facets related to the disease process.

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