Navigation Links
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments

Narcolepsy drug also helped with severe fatigue among patients on chemotherapy

SUNDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Two of the more common and unpleasant side effects of treatment for head and neck cancer patients may be relieved by the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture.

A new study found significant reductions in both dry mouth and pain and shoulder dysfunction after neck dissection in patients receiving acupuncture.

"Although further studies are needed, this does support the potential role of acupuncture," said study author Dr. David Pfister, chief of the head and neck medical oncology service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He presented the findings Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, in Chicago.

Neck dissection, or removal of the lymph nodes and surrounding tissue, is common in treating head and neck cancers. The dissection can be severe, involving removing of all the lymph nodes, the muscle involved in turning the head, a vein and a nerve which allows patients to lift their arms above their head.

"Side effects vary with the extent of the procedure," Pfister said. "Pain and shoulder dysfunction are common following a comprehensive neck resection. Although exercise and anti-inflammatory drugs are widely prescribed to address pain and dysfunction, efficacy is often disappointing or incomplete. Postoperative radiation is also frequently administered, leading to dry mouth, which further adds to the burden of symptoms."

In the study, 70 patients were randomized to receive weekly acupuncture sessions for four weeks or "usual care" (suggestions for physical therapy exercises and anti-inflammatory pain relievers).

Almost 40 percent of participants receiving acupuncture experienced improvements in both pain and mobility, compared with just 7 percent in the standard-care group.

There was also a notable decrease in dry mouth. "Five people in the acupuncture group had improvements as opposed to none in the usual-care arm," Pfister said.

A second study presented Saturday at the meeting found the narcolepsy drug Provigil (modafinil) provided significant relief for patients suffering from chemotherapy-related fatigue.

The drug is usually prescribed to sleep-related disorders. "These are basically non-amphetamine-based stimulants. They don't have the same type of typical problems that amphetamines do," explained study author Dr. Gary Morrow, associate director for community research at the University of Rochester Cancer Center.

Fatigue is a leading complaint of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Some nine out of 10 patients polled said they expected to experience this side effect, close to the percentage that actually do.

"The majority of patients expected fatigue and, unfortunately, they're right," Morrow said.

In this group of 631 patients, Provigil had a significant effect on excessive tiredness, and the effect was greater among patients who started out with more fatigue.

"The payoff was among patients who had severe fatigue," Morrow said. "It was numerically different but not statistically different for people who had mild or moderate fatigue. Modafinil appears useful to treat severe fatigue. If found again through pivotal studies submitted through proper regulatory authorities, it might take place in the armamentarium."

More information

Visit the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for more on this therapy.

SOURCES: May 31, 2008, news conference with David Pfister, M.D., chief, head and neck medical oncology service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, and Gary Morrow, Ph.D., associate director, community research, University of Rochester Cancer Center, New York; May 31, 2008, presentations, American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, Chicago

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Acupuncture reduces pain and dysfunction in head and neck cancer patients after neck dissection
2. Mayo Clinic study shows acupuncture and myofascial trigger therapy treat same pain areas
3. Acupuncture relieves hot flushes in breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen
4. SNAP! CRACKLE! POP! Untrained Chiropractors Doing Acupuncture!
5. Community Acupuncture Events Commemorate World Health Day 2008 Acupuncture Fundraiser at AOMA on Monday April 7th, 9am-4pm
6. Warning! Doctors, Insurers Hold Patients Hostage! Says Top Acupuncture Physician
7. Acupuncture May Aid In Vitro Fertilization
8. Acupuncture Cuts Need for Post-Op Painkillers
9. Acupuncture School Gives Free Acupuncture Treatments
10. Acupuncture does not reduce radiotherapy-induced nausea, but patients believe it does
11. Even Sham Acupuncture Eases Low Back Pain
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a ... area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell ... pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, ... Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of ... Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and ... other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & ... (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened ... , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( ... whatever measures required to build a strong and stable ... currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink current trading platform. ... CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly in market trading ... only by the Company, but shareholders and market players ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Global Blood ... biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment ... today announced the closing of its previously announced ... stock, at the public offering price of $18.75 ... offering were offered by GBT. GBT estimates net ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy ... that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily share ... formulary and coverage decisions, a move that addresses the ... The recommendations address restrictions in the sharing ... drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: