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Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Mar;2(1):5-12.

Healing the mind/body split: bringing the patient back into oncology.

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  • 1St. Raphael's Hospice, London Road, North Cheam, Sutton, Surrey SM3 9DX, United Kingdom.


The effect on oncology of the doctrine of Cartesian dualism is examined. It is argued that (1) this doctrine continues to exert a baneful (though unacknowledged) influence on the practice of oncology, (2) Descartes's doctrine of a mind/body split is mistaken, and (3) mind and body (brain) are inextricably interwoven. A biopsychosocial model of disease is advocated. The role of psychooncology in healing the mind/body split by focusing research attention on the patient is outlined.

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