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Acupuncture May Ease Pain From Breast Cancer Care

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Some commonplace breast most cancers drugs can cause joint ache, however new analysis suggests acupuncture might ease that facet impact.

The discovering is usually a win-win for breast most cancers sufferers, mentioned one oncologist who reviewed the learn about.

“Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and has no real downside,” mentioned Dr. Lauren Cassell, leader of breast surgical operation at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“If something so simple as acupuncture can improve upon these symptoms and the patients’ quality of life, we will have more women becoming compliant in taking their medication, and one would expect improved outcomes,” Cassell added.

The new learn about was once led by way of Dr. Dawn Hershman, who heads the Breast Cancer Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, additionally in New York City.

Hershman’s staff tracked results for 226 postmenopausal ladies with early level breast most cancers who have been taking medication known as aromatase inhibitors.

These medication — which come with Arimidex, Femara and Aromasin, amongst others — are steadily used to regard ladies with estrogen-sensitive breast tumors, Hershman mentioned.

But she added that “many patients suffer from side effects that cause them to miss treatments or stop treatment altogether. We need to identify strategies to control these side effects, the most common of which is debilitating joint pain and stiffness.”

Hershman’s staff puzzled if the traditional observe of acupuncture may assist. Of the sufferers within the learn about, 110 gained true acupuncture, 59 got faux acupuncture (needles positioned at useless spots at the frame), and every other 57 have been put on a ready checklist.

The sufferers in the real and pretend acupuncture teams underwent twice-weekly classes for 6 weeks, adopted by way of one consultation every week for 6 extra weeks.

After six weeks, sufferers in the real acupuncture team reported a lot decrease ache rankings than the ones in both the faux acupuncture or ready checklist teams, Hershman’s staff reported.

The learn about was once scheduled for presentation Thursday at the yearly San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, in Texas.

The discovering might imply that girls with ache associated with aromatase inhibitor use may persist with their meds longer if acupuncture eases their joint ache, “but we need to conduct further studies to determine if this is indeed the case,” Hershman mentioned in a gathering information unencumber.


In the period in-between, the findings counsel that “health care practitioners should discuss the possibility of acupuncture with patients experiencing aromatase inhibitor-related joint pain and stiffness, because it has the potential to improve their quality of life,” Hershman mentioned.

Dr. Cynara Coomer directs the Florina Rusi-Marke Comprehensive Breast Center, at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City. Reading over the findings, she agreed that “the integration of Western and Eastern medicine is an important path to explore” in breast most cancers care.

And with an opioid-addiction disaster sweeping the United States, “it is important for physicians to find other means of pain control for our patients,” she added.

“This is yet another study that reveals the benefits of acupuncture in treating pain,” Coomer mentioned.

Study findings introduced at scientific conferences must be regarded as initial till printed in a peer-reviewed magazine.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Lauren S. Cassell, M.D., leader of breast surgical operation, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Cynara Coomer, M.D., leader of breast surgical operation, director of the Florina Rusi-Marke Comprehensive Breast Center, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, information unencumber, Dec. 7, 2017

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