Navigation Links
Acupuncture reduces pain and dysfunction in head and neck cancer patients after neck dissection

New data from a randomized, controlled trial found that acupuncture provided significant reductions in pain, dysfunction, and dry mouth in head and neck cancer patients after neck dissection. The study was led by David Pfister, MD, Chief of the Head and Neck Medical Oncology Service, and Barrie Cassileth, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Dr. Pfister presented the findings today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology.

Neck dissection is a common procedure for treatment of head and neck cancer. There are different types of neck dissection, which vary based on which structures are removed and the anticipated side effects. One type the radical neck dissection involves complete removal of lymph nodes from one side of the neck, the muscle that helps turn the head, a major vein, and a nerve that is critical to full range of motion for the arm and shoulder.

"Chronic pain and shoulder mobility problems are common after such surgery, adversely affecting quality of life as well as employability for certain occupations," said Dr. Pfister. Nerve-sparing and other modified radical techniques that preserve certain structures without compromising disease control reduce the incidence of these problems but do not eliminate them entirely. Dr. Pfister adds, "Unfortunately, available conventional methods of treatment for pain and dysfunction following neck surgery often have limited benefits, leaving much room for improvement."

Seventy patients participated in the study and were randomized to receive either acupuncture or usual care, which includes recommendations of physical therapy exercises and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. For all of the patients, at least three months had elapsed since their surgery and radiation treatments. The treatment group received four sessions of acupuncture over the course of approximately four weeks. Both groups were evaluated using the Constant-Murley scale, a composite measure of pain, function, and activities of daily living.

Pain and mobility improved in 39 percent of the patients receiving acupuncture, compared to a 7 percent improvement in the group that received usual care. An added benefit of acupuncture was significant reduction of reported xerostomia, or extreme dry mouth. This distressing problem, common among cancer patients following radiotherapy in the head and neck, is addressed with only limited success by mainstream means.

"Like any other treatment, acupuncture does not work for everyone, but it can be extraordinarily helpful for many," said Dr. Cassileth. "It does not treat illness, but acupuncture can control a number of distressing symptoms, such as shortness of breath, anxiety and depression, chronic fatigue, pain, neuropathy, and osteoarthritis."

"Cancer patients should use acupuncturists who are certified by the national agency, NCCAOM [National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine], and who are trained, or at least experienced, in working with the special symptoms and problems caused by cancer and cancer treatment," she added.

Acupuncture, a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, originated more than 2,000 years ago. Treatment involves stimulation of one or more predetermined points on the body with needles, heat, pressure, or electricity for therapeutic effect. A report published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicated that more than 8 million Americans use acupuncture to treat different ailments. Acupuncture is being used in the palliative care of cancer to alleviate pain and chronic fatigue and to reduce postoperative chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.


Contact: Jeanne D'Agostino
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Related medicine news :

1. Even Sham Acupuncture Eases Low Back Pain
2. Acupuncture does not reduce radiotherapy-induced nausea, but patients believe it does
3. Acupuncture School Gives Free Acupuncture Treatments
4. Acupuncture Cuts Need for Post-Op Painkillers
5. Acupuncture May Aid In Vitro Fertilization
6. Warning! Doctors, Insurers Hold Patients Hostage! Says Top Acupuncture Physician
7. Community Acupuncture Events Commemorate World Health Day 2008 Acupuncture Fundraiser at AOMA on Monday April 7th, 9am-4pm
8. SNAP! CRACKLE! POP! Untrained Chiropractors Doing Acupuncture!
9. Acupuncture relieves hot flushes in breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen
10. Mayo Clinic study shows acupuncture and myofascial trigger therapy treat same pain areas
11. New study: Pine bark reduces perimenopausal symptoms
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted by an independent physician, Andrew Gostine, ... evaluating the efficacy of its product and its disinfection protocol. This study is taking ... 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, academic medical center located in Chicago, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In ... nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care for pulmonary hypertension ... Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special recognition throughout 2016 as part ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Many people know of the common symptoms of low ... dry skin. But many people who find their cholesterol levels and weight are creeping ... thyroid, especially if they don’t have any of the other symptoms. , Thyroid hormone ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Bunion ... in an early celebration of the early holiday shopping season. Starting Wednesday November ... (normally $33.95 ea). Black Friday promotional pricing is in addition to any automatic ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... New patients who wish to seek treatment for missing teeth can now ... Mississauga, ON practice. Dr. Williams has been providing dental service for over 34 years, ... teeth can lead to a variety of complications if they are not replaced quickly, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Thanks to a donor with a personal ... Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli Center for Women,s Health now ... San Francisco . Fred ... with a gift of $617,320 that allowed the Center ... Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast Ultrasound. Tomosynthesis, three-dimensional (3-D) mammography ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ESSA Pharma Inc. ("ESSA" ... announced today that the first patient has been enrolled ... a treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer ("mCRPC"). ... --> the United States ... Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ESSA intends to demonstrate the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PUNE, India , November 24, 2015 ... new market research report "Spine Biologics Market by Product Type ... Type (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion, Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion), ... by MarketsandMarkets, the global market was valued at $1.90 Billion ... 2020, at a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: