Acupuncture has been shown to be effective at managing chemo-related fatigue and improving the quality of life for patients. On October 29th, the Journal of Clinical Oncology posted the results of a new study completed in the United Kingdom. This research found that acupuncture relieved the crippling tiredness that afflicts more than 40% of breast cancer patients who had undergone chemotherapy.
Lead author Alex Molassiotis, a professor of cancer and supportive care at the University of Manchester, in England, said, “I am quite excited with these results…They provide some good evidence of an effect of acupuncture for the management of a very debilitating and burdensome symptom for patients.” He added, “The addition of a new treatment approach gives patients and health professionals more options”
This is not the first study to show the benefits of acupuncture for breast cancer patients. In 2011, a Yale University/University of Pittsburg study of women with hot flashes brought on by conventional breast cancer treatment showed that women who received acupuncture had a 30% reduction in hot flashes. And, previously in 2010, The Journal of Clinical Oncology published the results of a study that showed acupuncture helped relieve pain and stiffness in breast cancer patients being treated with hormone therapies.
So, what we are seeing is that:
1. Many physicians are increasingly accepting of acupuncture.
2. Acupuncture can help cancer patients reduce chemo-related fatigue, reduce post breast cancer hot flashes, and reduce pain and stiffness caused by hormone therapies.
We are certainly moving forward and ought to be hopeful. Please pass this information along to anyone you know who is dealing with cancer.