Patients with cancer often experience multiple signs and symptoms that reduce their quality of life. Although their have been significant improvements in the treatment of cancer over the last decades (Meikle, 2011), Lim et al (2011) points out that many signs and symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, depression and lack of wellbeing are not always addressed by conventional medical therapies.
Although some studies are contradictory early studies have suggested that acupuncture may play a complementary palliative role in the care for cancer patients. Please read below for the latest research in this area.
Johnstone, P et al. (2002). Integration of acupuncture into the oncology clinic. Palliat Med. 16
Meikle, J. (2011). Dramatic increase in survival rates for some cancer types, study shows. Available here. Last accessed Nov 2012.
Lim, J et al. (2011). Is there a role for acupuncture in the symptom management of patients receiving palliative care for cancer? A pilot study of 20 patients comparing acupuncture with nurse-led supportive care. Acupuncture in Medicine. 29 (3)
Acupuncture in the treatment of upper-limb lymphedema: Results of a pilot study Author: Cassileth BR et al. Location: Integrative Medicine Service, New York BACKGROUND: Current treatments for lymphedema after breast cancer treatment are expensive and require ongoing intervention. Clinical experience and our preliminary published results suggest that acupuncture is safe and potentially useful. This study […]read more
Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) involves the damage of the peripheral nerves. This can result in numbness/tingling, altered sensation such as pain or burning, weakness or loss of co-ordination of the extremities; dependant on the type of nerve fibre being affected. The main group of chemotherapy drugs that induce this include taxanes, vinca alkaloids and […]read more
Reducing vasomotor symptoms with acupuncture in breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant tamoxifen: a randomized controlled trial. Authors: Liljegren A, Gunnarsson P, Landgren BM, Robéus N, Johansson H, Rotstein S. Location: Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden Journal: Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Oct Aim: To evaluate true acupuncture to control acupuncture (CTRL) (non-insertive stimulation at non-acupuncture points) in breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant tamoxifen suffering from hot […]read more