Acupuncture is more effective and long term (in the joint management of the debilitating side effects of hot flashes, night sweats and excessive sweating, vasomotor symptoms) associated with the treatment of breast cancer in combination, and no side effects treatment compared with conventional drug therapy, according to a first in - 24 type study presented September 2008 at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncologys 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.
Our study shows that physicians and patients an additional treatment for most women affected by breast cancer, and does have advantages as they have rejected more side effects. The result is more durable than a drug used to treat vasomotor symptoms and, ultimately, it is cheaper for insurance companies, Eleanor Walker, MD, said the study's lead author and a radiation oncologist at Henry Ford Hospital, the Department of Radiation Oncology in Detroit.
The reduction in hot flush lasts longer for patients with breast cancer after acupuncture treatment, compared with patients after discontinuation of drug therapy plan.
Eighty percent of women treated for breast cancer suffer from hot flashes after treatment with chemotherapy and / or anti-estrogen hormones, such as tamoxifen and Arimidex. Although hormone replacement therapy is commonly used to relieve these symptoms, patients with breast cancer can not use this therapy because it may increase the risk of developing cancer again. As an alternative treatment for patients in general, with steroids and / or antidepressants to be treated. These drugs, however, have additional side effects like weight gain, nausea, constipation and fatigue. This is an antidepressant venlafaxine (Effexor), used a selective reuptake inhibitor of serotonin, one of the most widely used medicines to treat these flushes. However, many women decide against this treatment option because of side effects such as decreased libido, insomnia, dizziness and nausea, or just do not want to take more drugs.
In the randomized trial compared treatment with acupuncture, venlafixine week 12 to see if acupuncture reduced vasomotor symptoms of breast cancer patients receiving hormonal therapy and produced fewer side effects than venlafaxine. The study included 47 patients with breast cancer than tamoxifen or Arimidex and had at least 14 hot flashes per week. The results show that acupuncture and no hot flashes as effectively as venlafaxine reduces side effects and provides additional benefits to patient health.