Acupuncture Provides Relief from Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Therapy

Relief from Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Therapy
Relief from Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Therapy. Credit | Getty images

United States – The new clinical trial shows acupuncture can do something about the hot flashes of breast cancer patients under hormone therapy.

Effectiveness of Acupuncture

In the study, 2/3rd of the women interviewed said that after receiving acupuncture during hormone therapy, they experienced few hot flashes, and those were not as severe, as reported by HealthDay.

It works by preventing estrogens and other hormones that fuel some types of breast cancer from functioning as they should.

As was cited by researchers, 80% of the patients complain about hot flashes and other symptoms arising from hormone deficits. This makes patients stop the use of hormone therapies; hence, they continue experiencing cancer progression and death.

“By managing side effects, our approach makes it easier for patients to continue their prescribed medication, which has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and improve long-term outcomes for breast cancer survivors,” researcher Weidong Lu, lead oncology acupuncturist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said in a news release.

Study Details and Findings

In the study, the researchers identified 158 postmenopausal women with early to advanced breast cancers who received hormone therapy. Half the group was given acupuncture treatments twice a week for ten weeks with no specific rationale for their assignment.

The study also shows that 64% of women who underwent acupuncture complained less of hot flashes as compared to 18% of the women who had never undergone the procedure. Interestingly, the racers also indicated that they experienced higher levels of quality of life improvement than the patients.

Researchers said the other women who were left out also received acupuncture after 10 weeks, and their hormone therapy symptoms showed marked improvement as well, as reported by HealthDay.

There was no report of side effects incurred from the acupuncture.

Recommendations for Acupuncture Use

“In practice, patients interested in using acupuncture for this purpose might begin with a short trial period to assess their response to the treatment, particularly in terms of reduction in hot flashes and other symptoms,” Lu said. “If the trial period yields positive results, patients may then engage in a long-term program, receiving regular acupuncture sessions throughout the duration of their anti-hormonal medication regimen.”