Music to Alleviate Symptoms & Anxiety in Cancer Patients Receiving Radiation and/or Chemotherapy

Causal relationships among emotional states, levels of state anxiety, and pain perception affect treatment outcomes. Music, when presented in a live psychotherapeutic context, involves the activation of sensory pathways that compete with pain pathways, stimulating emotional response, and enhancing engagement of cognitive attention. A working hypotheses on modulating the emotional content of pain perception will be explored. Music experientials that address theoretical and clinical aspects of live music interventions employed with patients who have cancer will be exemplified. Research on the impact of music when receiving external beam radiation therapy and chemotherapy and its capacity to ameliorate state anxiety and provide adjuvant nonmedication-based pain management strategies will be discussed. Participants will gain understanding of the impact that music therapy can provide on anxiety in patients newly diagnosed with cancer and undergoing simulation for radiation therapy.

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