The ultimate goal of all medical activity is to restore patients to a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing. In cancer, it is assumed that this can only be obtained through the complete eradication of the tumor burden. So far, this strategy has led to a substantial improvement in cancer survival rates. Despite this, more than 9 million people die from cancer every year. Therefore, we need to accept that our current cancer treatment paradigm is obsolete and must be changed. The new paradigm should reflect that cancer is a systemic disease, which affects an individual patient living in a particular social reality, rather than an invading organism or a mere cluster of mutated cells that need to be eradicated. This Hippocratic holistic view will ultimately lead to an improvement in health and wellbeing in cancer patients. They deserve nothing less.
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