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Integr Cancer Ther. 2010 Mar;9(1):105-21. doi: 10.1177/1534735409355172. Epub 2010 Feb 11.

Integrative oncology for the whole person: a multidimensional approach to cancer care.

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Geffen Visions International Inc, Boulder, CO 80303, USA.


Today, more than ever before, millions of people are seeking an approach to medicine and health care that is more comprehensive, more holistic and integrative, and more compassionate and sensitive to their needs as a whole person. This is particularly true for those dealing with cancer. Changing patient demographics, heightened consumer demand for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) products and services, advances in medical science and technology, expanding access to the Internet and health information, and other factors have contributed to a wave of transformation that is unprecedented in its impact on the entire health care system. These trends have fueled the emerging fields of integrative medicine and oncology, which are growing rapidly. As these fields continue to evolve, they will move beyond the present integrative model to a broader vision of whole-person, multidimensional care that will more fully and coherently address and embrace all dimensions of the human experience. This article describes 6 major driving forces behind the wave of transformation presently under way in medicine and health care. It provides a brief, historical overview of integrative medicine and oncology and summarizes the present status of these emerging fields. It discusses the future of integrative medicine and oncology, including a multidimensional approach to care, and highlights 5 key elements that underlie this approach. Finally, it describes The Seven Levels of Healing--a model of multidimensional care--and concludes with a discussion of 3 important challenges and opportunities for medicine and health care that lie on the horizon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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