acupuncture

Acupuncture Eases Radiation-Caused Symptoms in Cancer Patients

Saturday, May 02, 2009 by: Sherry Baker, Health Sciences Editor
Tags: radiation, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Healthy 12-year-old girl dies shortly after receiving HPV vaccine
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Ben & Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces

Delicious
(NaturalNews) A study just reported in the online issue of the journal Head and Neck adds to the growing body of evidence that the ancient healing technique known as acupuncture isn't some kind of hocus pocus quackery that only works via the placebo effect. Researchers from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center found that weekly acupuncture treatments twice a week relieved symptoms of a condition called xerostomia -- severe and debilitating dry mouth resulting from radiation treatments for head and neck cancer.

After repeated, cumulative doses of radiation used in high levels during cancer treatment, salivary glands are so injured they can shut down, becoming incapable of producing anything close to adequate and normal amounts of saliva. "The quality of life in patients with radiation-induced xerostomia is profoundly impaired," Mark S. Chambers, M.S., D.M.D., a professor in the Department of Dental Oncology at M.D. Anderson, said in a statement to the media. "Symptoms can include altered taste acuity, dental decay, infections of the tissues of the mouth, and difficulty with speaking, eating and swallowing. Conventional treatments have been less than optimal, providing short-term response at best."

Most worrisome is the fact a lack of saliva can rob cancer patients of the very thing they most need to fight their disease -- good nutrition. M. Kay Garcia, LAc, Dr.P.H, a clinical nurse specialist and acupuncturist in M. D. Anderson's Integrative Medicine Program and the study's first author, stated in the press release that patients with xerostomia may develop nutritional deficits that become irreversible.

Dr. Chambers, the study's senior author, pointed out that saliva substitutes, lozenges and chewing gum bring only temporary relief. While there's a medication, pilocarpine, commonly prescribed for the condition, Dr. Chambers said it has only short-lived benefits and exposes patients to bothersome additional drug side effects.

Acupuncture therapy, based on the centuries-old Chinese practice of inserting and manipulating very thin needles at precise points on the body to relieve pain or restore health, is believed by Chinese medicine practitioners to improve the flow of vital energy throughout the body. Dr. Garcia, Dr. Chambers and their team of scientists conducted a study to find out if acupuncture might have an impact on xerostomia.

The M. D. Anderson study included 19 patients suffering from the dry mouth of xerostomia. All had completed radiation therapy at least a month earlier. They received two acupuncture treatments each week for four weeks with the acupuncturist concentrating on points located on the ears, chin, index finger, forearm and lateral surface of the leg. Each research subject was tested for the amount of their saliva and also asked to complete self-assessments and questionnaires about their symptoms and quality of life before the first treatment, after the four weeks of acupuncture was completed and after another four weeks passed.

The results? The twice-a-week acupuncture treatments produced highly statistically significant improvements in symptoms of dry mouth and related symptoms such as mouth and tongue discomfort, difficulty in speaking, eating and sleeping. What's more, a quality-of-life assessment conducted at weeks five and eight showed significant improvements over the quality-of-life scores recorded when the study began.

"In this pilot study, patients with severe xerostomia who underwent acupuncture showed improvements in physical well-being and in subjective symptoms," Dr. Chambers stated "Although the patient population was small, the positive results are encouraging and warrant a larger trial to assess patients over a longer period of time."

The M.D. Anderson group is actively involved in more acupuncture research. "Recently, we completed a study at Fudan University Cancer Hospital in Shanghai, China that compared acupuncture to usual care to prevent xerostomia. We have now started a two-arm placebo-controlled pilot trial in Shanghai. In the prevention trials, acupuncture is performed on the same day as the radiation treatments," Dr. Garcia said. She pointed out in the media statement that M. D. Anderson researchers want to find out whether acupuncture can actually prevent xerostomia in patients treated for head and neck cancer, and not just treat it after it develops.

For more information:
http://www.mdanderson.org/departments/newsro...


About the author

Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA's "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine's "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic's "Men's Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.