The American Cancer Society has reported, “1/2 of all men and 1/3 of all women in the U.S. will develop cancer during their lifetimes”. Those are frightening statistics. Although there are many forms of cancer, all start similarly with abnormal cells that grow out of control. Unlike other illnesses that your body defeats naturally, cancer needs to be treated with powerful techniques. Unfortunately, most of the common cancer treatments have some pretty debilitating side effects. This is where acupuncture can provide real help – acupuncture can help decrease many of the side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments.
How Can Acupuncture Help?
Acupuncture reduces pain and stiffness
In 2010, The Journal of Clinical Oncology published the results of a small study that concluded that acupuncture helped relieve pain and stiffness in breast cancer patients who were simultaneously being treated with hormone therapies.
Alleviates dry mouth
In 2009, the medical journal Head and Neck reported the results of a pilot study done at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The subjects were people suffering from head and neck cancer. The authors concluded, “This pilot study demonstrates that acupuncture can improve the subjective symptoms of dry mouth in patients with radiation-induced xerostomia as early as two weeks after starting treatment, and the benefits can remain at least one month after treatment ends,” Dr. Mark Chambers told Reuters Health, “These results are very promising…However, further research is needed.”
Aids dry mouth, pain, and shoulder dysfunction
In 2008, Dr. David Pfister, chief of the head and neck medical oncology service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, in Chicago. He reported that patients found significant reductions in both dry mouth and pain and shoulder dysfunction after neck dissection with the help of acupuncture. “Although further studies are needed, this does support the potential role of acupuncture,” said Pfister.
Cuts down on hot flashes
In 2011. A Yale University/University of Pittsburgh study of women with hot flashes brought on by conventional breast cancer treatment found that women who received acupuncture had a 30% reduction in hot flashes.
Relieves chemo-related fatigue and improves the quality of life for patients
In 2012, 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
Acupuncture continues to receive personal commendations. Well known people have spoken out with voices and finances to say that acupuncture is a good choice for oncology support. America’s favorite Doctor, Dr. Oz has said that acupuncture is helpful for reducing the side effects of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation. Such as pain, nausea, fatigue, hot flashes and dry mouth. When Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer, she underwent a lumpectomy followed by radiation. During these treatments she also received acupuncture and drank herbal teas. Former First Lady of Chicago, Maggie Daley, gave generously to help open the Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The center includes acupuncture as an option for the patients. Many people are finding out that, although essential cancer treatment can be an appalling, incapacitating process, they can get some relief through non-traditional methods.