Acupuncture for pain relief associated with breast cancer treatment: Article in Nature
A recent article on research into acupuncture for pain in the journal ‘nature’ has detailed some interesting results when acupuncture is used to assist with pain relief in patients receiving hormone therapy for breast cancer.
The article details some recent research of 226 women at 11 different cancer centres across America. The research looked at how acupuncture could influence the pain caused by a type of medication called aromatase inhibitors. These drugs reduce the chance of cancer coming back but unfortunately one of the side effects is joint pain which results in many women ceasing to take the medication. The results being a medication that can extend life is often voluntarily ceased because the side effects are too bad. This research assessed an intriguing use of acupuncture in minimising the side effects of a useful medication to treat a deadly disease.
After a six week course of acupuncture, acupuncture outperformed duloxetine, a medication which is often used as the usual care of the problem and the researchers concluded acupuncture offered clinically meaningful results. The benefits of acupuncture also persisted after the course of acupuncture finished which is not the case with the medication.
The research highlights an important and potential usage of acupuncture in not only minimising the side effects of medication but also in assisting patients to stay on drugs that may extend their lives.
If you’d like to read the article in full you can do that here: