A REVIEW OF ACUPUNCTURE IN CANCER TREATMENT PROGRAMS

November 6, 2017

Cancer is a treacherous disease that devastates individuals and families. While medical advancements have increased the survival rate for many forms of cancer, the individuals affected must still deal with the pain and side effects of aggressive treatment plans and recovery. Fortunately, proponents of Traditional Chinese Medicine have long known that acupuncture is an effective analgesic, and there is an increasing collection of data that supports this practice. 

A review of recent studies shows that when examining and treating cancer patients, acupuncture can help manage cancer symptoms, addressing side effects caused by chemotherapy or radiation, boost blood cell count, and enhance the body’s immune response. The following two randomised controlled trials are good examples of the cancer research being done to confirm the beneficial effects of acupuncture on cancer pain. 

In China

Forty-eight patients with stomach carcinoma pain were separated into three different treatment groups. The first group received acupuncture point injection treatment, the second group received acupuncture filiform treatment, and the third group received conventional analgesic treatment. Results after two months showed that not only did the acupuncture have an equivalent long-term analgesic effect, but acupuncture patients also experienced improved quality of life and reduced chemotherapy side effects.

“…acupuncture patients also experienced improved quality of life and reduced chemotherapy side effects.”

In France

Ninety cancer patients who were already receiving conventional analgesic treatment, but who still reported being in significant pain were divided into three groups. One group received traditional auricular acupuncture while the other two groups were given acupuncture treatment in placebo auricular locations. Results showed there was a 36% reduction in pain for patients undergoing true auricular acupuncture treatment. These results were significantly greater than the placebo groups who saw no pain reduction.

 “…36% reduction in pain for patients undergoing true auricular acupuncture treatment.”

Conclusion

These studies continue to confirm the benefits of acupuncture in pain relief, particularly in cancer treatment programs. The France study also shows that acupuncture can be beneficial even when conventional analgesics are already in use.  

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