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Evidence Based Data

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a Chinese medicine method that is based on the belief that a vital energy called ‘Qi’ flows through a network of energy channels in our body. The main goal of acupuncture is to balance the body and remove any Qi flow blockages so the body can heal itself. During treatment, very thin needles are inserted into the skin in strategic spots. Studies show that acupuncture helps reduce or eliminate nausea from chemotherapy, post-chemotherapy fatigue, pain, depression, and anxiety.

In recent years, oncology centers have found that integrative therapies such as acupuncture can improve a patient’s overall wellbeing as they cope with cancer treatment.

Veronica remembers always being fatigued and nauseated during her chemotherapy treatments while battling breast cancer.
“Acupuncture has made me dread chemo less.” Jillian shares how acupuncture, and other integrative medicine techniques, helped lessen side effects brought on by chemotherapy.

Acupuncture - Relevant Research and News

Effects of acupuncture on cancer-related fatigue: a meta-analysis

PURPOSE: This study was designed to critically evaluate the effect of acupuncture on cancer-related fatigue (CRF).

METHODS: Seven databases (Cochrane Library, Embase, Medline, Web of Science, CBM, Wanfang, and CNKI) were systematically reviewed from inception to November 2016 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Two reviewers critically and independently assessed the risk of bias using Cochrane Collaboration criteria and extracted correlated data using the designed form. All analyses were performed with Review Manager 5.

RESULTS: Ten RCTs, including 1327 patients (acupuncture, 733; control, 594), meeting the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis were identified. Acupuncture had a marked effect on fatigue in cancer patients, regardless of concurrent anti-cancer treatment, particularly among breast cancer patients. The meta-analysis also indicated that acupuncture could significantly mitigate CRF compared with sham acupuncture or usual care. Acupuncture for 20-30 min/session three times/week for two or three weeks, twice weekly for two weeks and weekly for six weeks, and weekly for six weeks had substantial effects on CRF. Six RCTs reported the occurrence of adverse events, whereas five reported none. The remaining study reported some manageable events, including spot bleeding and bruising.

CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture is effective for CRF management and should be recommended as a beneficial alternative therapy for CRF patients, particularly for breast cancer patients and those currently undergoing anti-cancer treatment.

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