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Zhonghua Yi Shi Za Zhi. 2010 Jul;40(4):234-6.

[Hippocrates' viewpoint on cancer].

[Article in Chinese]

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Oncology Department, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710061, China.


Hippocrates pioneered the knowledge of cancer by inheriting the medical ideas of ancient Egypt in combination with his own medical practice and observation. He defined cancer as a special category of diseases, claiming that cancer is rich in blood vessels with infiltration capacity. He probed the pathogenesis of cancer on the basis of the "Four Humors" theory. He advocated the comprehensive treatment principles based on the patient's individual condition even in the absence of effective therapeutic methods. For incurable patients, he adopted the principle of palliative therapy which was in conformation with the principles of treatment in modern medicine. He stressed the prognosis of cancer and timely notice of the condition to the patients' relatives. The relevant moral ideas he put forward are still applied nowadays.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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