Originally published November 3 2012
Acupuncture relieves fatigue in breast cancer sufferers
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) If you or someone you know suffers from breast cancer and the chronic fatigue symptoms commonly associated with conventional treatment protocols, acupuncture just might provide the much-needed energy boost you need to make it through each day. Researchers from the University of Manchester in the U.K. found that routine acupuncture treatments can help women with breast cancer achieve a "mild to modest" improvement in their fatigue symptoms, which for some can make all the difference in determining overall quality of life.
For their research, Alexander Molassiotis and his colleagues monitored and tracked 302 women with moderate to severe cancer-related fatigue symptoms, all of whom had received chemotherapy treatments for their breast cancers in the five years preceding the study. A total of 227 women who participated in the study received acupuncture treatments, while the remaining 27 women did not receive the treatments. After six weeks, the team compared the health conditions of the two groups to see if acupuncture had provided any benefits.
The group found that, overall, the acupuncture group experienced a drop in fatigue symptoms of almost four points on a 20-point scale, compared to a less than one point drop in the non-acupuncture group. Anxiety and depression scores also improved among those in the acupuncture group, dropping by two additional points following acupuncture compared to women given educational materials only. Emotional and physical well-being also improved as a result of acupuncture, lending credence to the notion that acupuncture is capable of transforming both mind and body for the better.
"Acupuncture is an effective intervention for managing the symptom of chemo-related fatigue and improving patients' quality of life," wrote Molassiotis and his colleagues in their report. When combined with moderate exercise, talk therapy, and other physical and emotional exercises, acupuncture can play a crucial role in mitigating the fatigue-related side effects of breast cancer treatments.
A 2008 study published in The International Journal of Radiation Oncology found that acupuncture is also effective at treating a variety of other side effects of cancer treatments as well, including hot flashes, depression, and night sweats. (http://www.naturalnews.com/024762_treatment_cancer_breast.html)
"[M]aintaining activity to tolerance, unless there are other problems with that, good nutrition, getting adequate sleep, and if the fatigue continues, considering there might be an alternative that complements those things," suggests Carol Enderlin of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, concerning acupuncture as a viable option for treating breast cancer treatment symptoms.
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