MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Acupuncture reduces hot flashes

Back to breast cancer blog Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Breast Cancer Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Acupuncture reduces hot flashes




Not only is acupuncture as effective as drug treatment at reducing hot flashes in patients with breast cancer, it has the added benefit of potentially increasing a woman's sex drive and improving her sense of well-being, as per a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Study results show that acupuncture, when in comparison to drug treatment, has a longer-lasting effect on the reduction of hot flashes and night sweats for women receiving hormone treatment for breast cancer therapy. Women also report that acupuncture improves their energy and clarity of thought.

The study, published online this week in the Journal of Oncology, is the first randomly controlled trial to compare acupuncture and drug treatment in this way.



Acupuncture reduces hot flashes

"Acupuncture offers patients a safe, effective and durable therapy option for hot flashes, something that affects the majority of breast cancer survivors. In comparison to drug treatment, acupuncture actually has benefits, as opposed to more side effects," says study main author Eleanor Walker, M.D., division director of breast services in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital.

As per the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. For these women, conventional medical therapy involves chemotherapy and five years of hormone treatment. With such a long course of therapy, side effects of hormone treatment such as vasomotor symptoms hot flashes and night sweats can become a major cause of decreased quality of life, and even discontinuation of therapy.

Venlafaxine (Effexor) has been the drug treatment of choice to manage these common and debilitating side effects linked to breast cancer therapy. Venlafixine, however, comes with its own set of side-effects: dry mouth, decreased appetite, nausea and constipation.

Since acupuncture has been shown to effectively reduce hot flashes in menopausal women, Dr. Walker and her research team decided to test the use of acupuncture to combat vasomotor symptoms in patients with breast cancer as an alternative to drug treatment.

To compare the two options, 50 patients were recruited from oncology clinics at Henry Ford. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either acupuncture or venlafaxine therapy for 12 weeks. The drug treatment group took venlafaxine orally each night, 37.5mg the first week and then 75mg for the remaining 11 weeks. The other group received acupuncture therapys twice per week for the first four weeks, and then once a week for the remaining eight weeks.

At the end of 12 weeks, all patients stopped their treatment and were followed for one year. Patients kept a diary to record the number and severity of hot flashes, and took surveys to measure their overall health and mental health.

The study observed that both groups initially experienced a 50 percent decline in hot flashes and depressive symptoms, indicating that acupuncture is as effective as drug treatment.

Differences, however, between the two groups began to emerge two weeks post-treatment: The acupuncture group continued to experience minimal hot flashes, while the drug treatment group had a significant increase in hot flashes. The acupuncture group did not experience an increase in the frequency of their hot flashes until three months post-treatment.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Not only is acupuncture as effective as drug treatment at reducing hot flashes in patients with breast cancer, it has the added benefit of potentially increasing a woman's sex drive and improving her sense of well-being, as per a Henry Ford Hospital study. Study results show that acupuncture, when in comparison to drug treatment, has a longer-lasting effect on the reduction of hot flashes and night sweats for women receiving hormone treatment for breast cancer therapy. Women also report that acupuncture improves their energy and clarity of thought.

Medicineworld.org: Acupuncture reduces hot flashes

BREAST CANCER MAIN| Home| Breast cancer news| Common terms| Breast cancer treatment| Breast cancer treatment by stage| Mammogram and breast cancer screening| Surgical treatment of breast cancer| Chemotherapy of breast cancer| Chemo drugs used in breast cancer| Doxorubicin| Cyclophosphamide| Methotrexate| Hormonal therapy of breast cancer| Radiation therapy of breast cancer| Monoclonal therapy| High dose chemotherapy for breast cancer| Recurrent breast cancer| Bisphosphonates and breast cancer| Pregnancy and breast cancer| Risk factors for breast cancer| Risk details| My risk| Comprehensive breast cancer information| Breast cancer statistics| African Americans and breast cancer| Ashkenazi and breast cancer| Asians| Hispanic| Men| Native Americans| Older women and breast cancer| Younger women| Pregnant women and breast cancer| BRCA|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.