Acupuncture can ease the side effects of breast cancer treatments

Nausea, hot flashes, night sweats reduced

One in every eight women in the UK will develop breast cancer at some point in her life – more than 48,000 new cases were diagnosed in 2009. It has become the most common cancer in the UK, and is the leading cause of death for women aged 34 to 54. As unpleasant as it is to think of it, it is crucial to take the steps to allow early detection and adopt lifestyle habits that can prevent it from developing.

For those of us who will unfortunately develop the disease and have medical treatment, there there are therapies that may help alleviate some of the side effects and boost your immune system.  Among those is acupuncture, for which the American Cancer Society considers there is enough scientific evidence to include acupuncture as a complementary method for relieving symptoms related to cancer.

Several randomized clinical trials have shown that acupuncture had positive affects on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and clinical studies have shown significant reductions in hot flashes through acupuncture.

Additional studies suggested that acupuncture may help relieve mouth dryness (xerostomia) in patients whose salivary glands were damaged as a side effect of radiation therapy.

The degree of results from acupuncture is dependent on symptoms, clinical staging, timing of the encounter in the course of the illness, and areas of involvement. However, to answer the overall question, “Can acupuncture help with the side effects of breast cancer treatment?”. “In all probability, yes” says Dr. Emran Imami, FACS, medical director for TEPAS Breast Center. Acupuncture can help ease the side effects in the care of cancer patients.