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Medicineworld.org: Acupuncture reduces side effects of breast cancer treatment

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Acupuncture reduces side effects of breast cancer treatment




Boston Acupuncture is as effective and longer-lasting in managing the common debilitating side effects of hot flashes, night sweats, and excessive sweating (vasomotor symptoms) linked to breast cancer therapy and has no therapy side effects in comparison to conventional drug treatment, as per a first-of-its-kind study presented September 24, 2008, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.

Findings also show there were additional benefits to acupuncture therapy for patients with breast cancer, such as an increased sense of well being, more energy, and in some cases, a higher sex drive, that were not experienced in those patients who underwent drug therapy for their hot flashes.



Acupuncture reduces side effects of breast cancer treatment

"Our study shows that physicians and patients have an additional treatment for something that affects the majority of breast cancer survivors and actually has benefits, as opposed to more side effects. The effect is more durable than a drug usually used to treat these vasomotor symptoms and, ultimately, is more cost-effective for insurance companies," Eleanor Walker, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the Henry Ford Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology in Detroit, said.

The reduction in hot flashes lasted longer for those patients with breast cancer after completing their acupuncture therapy, in comparison to patients after stopping their drug treatment plan.

Eighty percent of women treated for breast cancer suffer from hot flashes after being treated with chemotherapy and/or anti-estrogen hormones, such as Tamoxifen and Arimidex. Eventhough hormone replacement treatment is typically used to relieve these symptoms, patients with breast cancer cannot use this treatment because it may increase the risk of the cancer coming back. As a therapy alternative, patients are generally treated with steroids and/or antidepressant drugs. These drugs, however, have additional side effects, such as weight gain, nausea, constipation and fatigue. The antidepressant, venlafaxine (Effexor), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is one of the most common drugs used to treat these hot flashes. However, a number of women decide against this therapy choice because of potential side effects, including decreased libido, insomnia, dizziness and nausea, or because they simply do not want to take any more medications.

The randomized clinical trial compared acupuncture therapy to venlafixine for 12 weeks to find out if acupuncture reduced vasomotor symptoms in patients with breast cancer receiving hormonal treatment and produced fewer side effects than venlafaxine. The study involved 47 patients with breast cancer who received either Tamoxifen or Arimidex and had at least 14 hot flashes per week. Results show that acupuncture reduces hot flashes as effectively as venlafaxine, with no side effects, and also provides additional health benefits to patients.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Boston Acupuncture is as effective and longer-lasting in managing the common debilitating side effects of hot flashes, night sweats, and excessive sweating (vasomotor symptoms) linked to breast cancer therapy and has no therapy side effects in comparison to conventional drug treatment, as per a first-of-its-kind study presented September 24, 2008, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.

Medicineworld.org: Acupuncture reduces side effects of breast cancer treatment

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