Acupuncture in Cancer Treatment
--- Can acupuncture help me
Oncology Acupuncture - The issue then becomes:
Is there a place for acupuncture in the vast field of cancer with its diverse treatment modalities?
"Vast" since cancer is not one disease but over 300 different malignancies, each with its own unique histology, patho-physiology, and clinical behavior.
'Diverse" because of the different chemotherapeutic classes of agents, hormonal agents, types of High-energy particle beam generators, and various delivery systems for radiation treatment. "Diverse" also because it encompasses various types of surgical procedures, nutritional support, and the body-mind holistic approach.
Acupuncture In Post-operative Pain Control
The role of acupuncture in the curative group is in its adjunctive use in anesthesia, in post-operative pain control, and in aiding and hastening recovery from the side effects of the various therapies.
Acupuncture is effective for control of pain, of local swelling post-operatively, for shortening the resolution of hematoma and tissue swelling and for minimizing use of medications and their attendant side effects.
Energetic acupuncture, an approach consisting of the use of needles with electricity and moxibustion (a form of local heating with herbs imparts a sense of well being and accelerates patients' recovery.
In conjunction with nutritional support, its use is routinely employed in some cancer institutions.
Needling a variety of trigger and painful points, percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and osteo-puncture, along with whole body energetic acupuncture support, are approaches available to the acupuncturists.
In the acupuncture paradigm, any chronic disease process depletes the energy level in the organism.
Such depletion can be ameliorated, at least temporarily, by tonification, a process of imparting energy into the system.
This is deemed necessary for more durable, successful pain control. It can also add to the patients' sense of well being and decrease the malaise associated with any chronic disease, especially cancer.
That acupuncture is a powerful tool for general pain control is widely known... Less known is its success use in some cancer-related pain and in reducing narcotic use and thereby minimizing the side effects confusion, disturbed mentation, behavioral changes, nausea and severe constipation.
Reported from American Academy of Medical Acupuncture
Acupuncture is used to treat many illnesses and ailments and in cancer patients. Patients use it to control pain and to relieve nausea and vomiting, fatigue, hot flashes, xerostomia, neuropathy, anxiety, depression, and sleeping problems.
What do patients feel during acupuncture?
Patients may have a needling feeling during acupuncture, known as de qi sensation, making them feel heaviness, numbness, or tingling.
Laboratory and animal studies of acupuncture for cancer treatment suggest acupuncture may also help the immune system be stronger during chemotherapy.
Have any clinical trials (research studies with people) of acupuncture been conducted?
In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began evaluating the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture as a complementary therapy for relieving cancer-related symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments.
Studies of acupuncture in cancer care also have been done in China and other countries, including England, France, Australia, Japan, and Sweden.
Acupuncture has been used in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years as part of traditional Chinese medicine.
What is the history of the discovery and use of acupuncture as a complementary treatment for cancer?
The oldest known medical book in China (second century BC) describes the use of needles to treat medical problems.
The use of the treatment spread to other Asian countries and to other regions of the world, including to Europe by the 1700s.
In the United States, acupuncture has been used for about 200 years.
Research on acupuncture began in the United States in 1976. Twenty years later, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the acupuncture needle as a medical device. Many illnesses are treated with acupuncture.
In cancer treatment, its main use is to control symptoms,
including the following:
Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
Constipation and diarrhea.
Failure of gastrointestinal (GI) muscles to move food through the GI tract following surgery.