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Acupuncture effective for providing relief to cancer patients
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June 14, 2010  |  Posted in  Steroids Blog

Acupuncture effective for providing relief to cancer patientsManagement of common debilitating side effects of hot flashes, excessive sweating, and night sweats that are commonly linked with breast cancer treatment can be effectively treated with acupuncture. The finding was revealed in a study that also suggested that there are no side effects of acupuncture.

The findings were part of a first-of-its-kind study presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology’s 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.

From Sciencedaily.com:

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. Although hormone replacement therapy is typically used to relieve these symptoms, breast cancer patients cannot use this therapy because it may increase the risk of the cancer coming back.

As a treatment 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, many women decide against this treatment 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.

It was remarked by Eleanor Walker, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the Henry Ford Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology in Detroit that acupuncture is more durable than drugs currently used for treating symptoms of vasomotor.

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