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Holistic Cancer Treatment


Contrary to what it may sound like, holistic cancer treatment is not some alternative cancer therapy pushed by some fringe element and soaked in conspiracy theories. Rather, holistic cancer treatment—in fact, holistic treatment of any kind—means something far different.

A Definition of 'Holistic'

When you go to see a doctor about a particular complaint, the role of the modern physician is to treat the complaint. They determine what the problem is by deduction—by eliminating anything and everything else it might be. The treatment prescribed will then generally be a treatment designed to address the complaint—back pain, numbness, fatigue, etc.

A holistic approach does not narrow down the problem to the specific complaint and address it. Rather, a holsitic approach considers the entire patient, beyond the malady of the moment. It looks at the patient as more than a set of parts and treats them accordingly. Neither is holistic treatment a one-off—a patient isn't given a prescription and sent on his or her way. Rather, it generally involves a larger process, one that attempts to steer the focus away from the specific problem and towards the entire individual.

It should not be confused with alternative therapies, since it does not necessarily take a special holistic healer to deliver holistic therapy.

Holistic Cancer Treatment

Holistic treatment as applied to cancer therapy also should not be confused with strictly alternative treatments, some of which are dangerous and likely dispensed in questionable clinics located 50 miles south of San Diego.

A holistic approach in cancer treatment might include any or all of the following components:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Medical acupuncture
  • Psycho-social services
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Creative arts therapy
  • Exercise
  • Nutritional recommendations
  • Spiritual support
  • Aromatherapy

And this list is just for starters. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America, for instance, stress in their ads that they 'treat the whole person, not just one's cancer', and this is as succinct a definition of holistic cancer treatment one can find.

Taking a holistic approach to cancer treatment is not the norm among conventional cancer treatment centers in the United States but, as evidence mounts that holistic approaches lead to better outcomes, there is reason to believe that this is changing.


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