Erald Bakiu1, Tolunay Akbaş1, Funda İfakat Tengiz2

1Izmir Katip Çelebi University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey
2Department of Medical Education, Izmir Katip Çelebi University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey

Keywords: Anxiety, cancer, depression, neoplasm, nocebo, oncology, pain, placebo, positive framing, toxicity


Placebo and nocebo effects are psychobiological effects affecting the homeostasis of the human body, either by curing diseases or by creating and deteriorating pathological states. Despite being a powerful mind-body connection, they have been hidden under the concept of an inert treatment, used in randomized controlled trials, and their true potential has been neglected. When it comes to their presence in oncology, they are responsible for either increasing or reducing pain, anxiety, depression, toxicity and, in quite low rates, tumor size. Further research and implementation of the knowledge of placebo and nocebo effects in medical education will allow harnessing the true potential of these effects and will raise awareness in health professionals that every action they take has a profound effect on their patients.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.