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Spontaneous remission is a catch-all expression for any symptom improvement that is not due to a therapeutic intervention.

Cases of spontaneous remission are a good example of statistical outliers due to the large numbers of individuals alive and the corresponding incidences of disease. The term anecdotal evidence is often mentioned by medical researchers in conjunction with cases of spontaneous remission, since such cases seldom are part of a formal scientific study following scientific methods, but are instead described by those who directly experienced the healing in the form of testimony.

Traditional medical practice ascribes the effect to rationally explainable influences that simply lack observation. Advocates of faith healing and alternative medicine contend that the expression is a convenient means for dismissing alternative sources of efficacy.

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