Navigation Links
Acupuncture May Cut Hot Flashes, Boost Sex Drive in Breast Cancer Patients

But the study was small and one expert believes more research is needed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture is just as good as standard medication to ease hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms in women undergoing breast cancer treatment.

And as an added bonus, the needle treatment may boost the patient's sex drive and contribute to clearer thinking.

"I think the data shows you that acupuncture is a good option for these patients [and] it has no side effects," added Dr. Eleanor Walker, division director of breast services in the department of radiation oncology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and lead author of a study appearing online Dec. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

But another expert warned against taking the findings too seriously at this stage.

"It's provocative but the problem is it's a small number of patients and, having participated in research trials in vasomotor [hot flashes, night sweats, etc.] symptoms in women, it's a field that has a large placebo effect," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge. "It needs to have a bigger trial."

Prior studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal women without breast cancer.

All of these studies, however, compared acupuncture to sham acupuncture, not to commonly used drugs, Walker noted. This is the first randomized controlled study to compare acupuncture alongside medication.

Many women with breast cancer receive anti-estrogen hormone therapy, usually for as long as five years, in addition to other treatments.

Although hormone therapy is effective in reducing tumor recurrence, it does cause hot flashes and night sweats.

The antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine) is the most commonly used therapy for relieving these symptoms, but the drug brings its own problems, namely dry mouth, reduced appetite, nausea and constipation.

"We need something that's accessible that doesn't add adverse effects," Walker said.

For this study, 50 women with breast cancer were randomly assigned to receive 12 weeks of acupuncture (twice a week for four weeks then once a week) or daily Effexor. They were followed for a year.

Initially, both groups of women experienced similar reductions (about 50 percent) in hot flashes and depression, with an overall improvement in quality of life.

But the acupuncture benefits were longer lived. Two weeks out, women taking the antidepressant saw a resurgence in hot flashes while women in the acupuncture arm continued to have far fewer problems.

About 25 percent of women receiving acupuncture also reported more interest in sex while many also reported more energy and clearer thinking.

"The issue most of the time is the cost of it and whether insurance companies will pay for it," Walker said. Additional studies also need to look at how often women would need booster acupuncture to minimize their symptoms.

More information

There's more on breast cancer treatments at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Eleanor M. Walker, M.D., division director of breast services, department of radiation oncology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit; Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman, hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge; Dec. 28, 2009, Journal of Clinical Oncology, online

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Acupuncture reduces hot flashes, improves sex drive for breast cancer patients
2. Affordable Acupuncture Greeted with Open Arms by Scottsdale and Phoenix Communities
3. Acupuncture Career Guide Launches on Natural Healers
4. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Continue to Grow in Popularity Due to Focus on Natural Health
5. Acupuncture may bring relief for a common condition in women
6. Acupuncture, Exercise May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
7. Vancouver Fertility Acupuncture Clinic Announces New Fellows of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine
8. Denver-Based Acupuncturist, Dr. Martha Lucas, Releases New Book: Vanity Calamity: Your Guide to Cosmetic Acupuncture for Anti-aging
9. Acupuncture May Relieve Heartburn In Pregnancy
10. Dr. David Sniezek to Provide Medical Acupuncture at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC
11. Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... 7® Hemp CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD ... dose required and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in ... the facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab ... City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for ... for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in ... reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a segment ... of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS Member ... with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the ... is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, ... he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... CHICAGO , Sept. 28, 2017 Hill-Rom ... quarter 2017 earnings conference call and webcast on Friday, ... 8:00 a.m. (EDT) and ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. ... to discussing the company,s 2017 financial performance and guidance ... growth opportunities, initiatives to enhance operational performance, and long-range ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... -- Commended for their devotion to personalized service, SMP Pharmacy Solutions ... in the South Florida Business Journal,s 50 Fastest-Growing Companies, and ... the national specialty pharmacy has found its niche.  To that ... be honored by SFBJ as the 2017 Power Leader in ... receive his award in October, Bardisa said of the three ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017   Montrium , an industry ... today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection ... that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected eTMF ... TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract research ... increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: