Institute for Functional Medicine Holds First Global Meeting on Cancer as a Chronic Disease

Focus on the Pivotal Role of Primary Care Clinicians in Cancer Prevention, Management and Survivorship Draws Record Attendance at IFM's 17th International Symposium on Functional Medicine

Jun 07, 2010, 08:00 ET from The Institute for Functional Medicine

Gig Harbor, Wash., June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) held its 2010 International Symposium on Functional Medicine "Confronting Cancer as a Chronic Disease" in Carlsbad, CA in late May. More than 750 clinicians from 24 countries and an array of healthcare backgrounds – from primary care medical doctors and naturopathic physicians to nutritionists and nurse practitioners – attended the first-ever international medical symposium to thoroughly examine the pivotal role primary care clinicians can play in cancer prevention, management and survivorship. Functional medicine incorporates the latest in genetic science, systems biology and a growing understanding of how environmental and lifestyle factors influence the emergence and progression of disease. The functional medicine model, described in more detail at, empowers physicians and other healthcare professionals to address the underlying causes of disease with proactive, prescriptive, personalized medicine that applies to every patient, not just those with cancer.

Three key research statistics drove the focus of this year's IFM Symposium on confronting cancer as a chronic disease:

  1. More than 50% of cancers can be prevented.
  2. Two-thirds of patients with cancer will survive beyond five years.
  3. The majority of cancer patients are using adjunctive complementary and alternative medicine therapies with little or no guidance from professionals, many without the awareness of their primary care physicians or oncologists.

Based on this critical information, the IFM Symposium expert planning committee of Jeffrey Bland, PhD, FACN, CNS; Mary Hardy, MD and Dwight McKee, MD concluded that physicians and other healthcare clinicians must be equipped to confidently assess and implement effective strategies aimed at understanding and counseling their primary care patients in the prevention, management, and survivorship of cancer.

Among the 24 speakers at this year's IFM symposium were Dean Ornish, MD, who lectured on "The Power of Sustainable Changes in Behavior and Lifestyle," and Jeffrey Bland, whose opening presentation "Looking Anew at Cancer," also was webcast live to an international online audience of more than 840 people on and which can be viewed for a limited time at

"As primary care clinicians we have a critical role to play in the support and treatment of our patients who have cancer and also those for whom functional medicine interventions can help prevent the onset or recurrence of cancer," said David Jones, president of the Institute for Functional Medicine.  "We were extremely pleased by the record attendance at IFM Symposium this year because it demonstrates the rapidly growing interest in functional medicine among the medical community as a new and better model for effective treatment and prevention of complex chronic disease."

About The Institute for Functional Medicine

The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. Through education, research and outreach, IFM prepares physicians and other health professionals to practice in integrated healthcare settings using the common principles, language and tools of functional medicine. IFM is the only organization providing education in functional medicine that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Through IFM's training programs, publications and symposia, health practitioners are learning how functional medicine enables them to provide proactive, personalized care that is effective in preventing, reducing and even reversing chronic disease.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Allen Newton

Bluehouse Consulting Group, Inc.


Jennifer (at)

SOURCE The Institute for Functional Medicine