ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Winter Is Tough on Feet
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
The Best Diet? That Depends on You
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
EYE CARE, VISION
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
New Methods Could Speed Production of Flu Vaccines
Why Am I So Tired? Could It Be Low Thyroid?
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Add your Article

Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects

Now new research suggests that acupuncture may help ease some of these side effects, and it may be more effective than antidepressants for relieving hot flashes and more.

"This study compared the effectiveness of acupuncture to drug therapy, and we found acupuncture was just as effective and had no side effects," said study author Dr. Eleanor M. Walker, director of breast radiation oncology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

"We were also able to show that the effect of acupuncture was longer lasting. After about two weeks of stopping drug therapy, women started having symptoms. With acupuncture, it was 15 weeks," she said.

Walker was expected to present the findings Monday at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's annual meeting, in Boston.

Acupuncture is an ancient treatment that's a mainstay of Chinese medicine. It has been practiced for thousands of years, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Acupuncture involves the placement of very slender needles into the skin along certain points.

In Chinese medicine, it's believed that acupuncture works by unblocking the flow of energy along meridians. In Western medicine, the exact reason acupuncture might work isn't clear, but some theorize that the placement of needles may release endorphins, a chemical that make you feel good. Walker added that the meridian lines from Chinese medicine closely correspond to the body's network of nerves.

Treatments for breast cancer can induce early menopause, and many dampen the production of estrogen, leaving women with hot flashes, excessive sweating, fatigue and more.

Women with breast cancer can't be given hormone replacement therapy, so doctors often prescribe antidepressants, which can have their own side effects.

In the current study, Walker and her colleagues compared acupuncture with the use of the antidepressant Effexor in 47 women with breast cancer. Each woman was randomly assigned to receive a 12-week course of the antidepressant or acupuncture. Prior to the study, the women reported having at least 14 hot flashes per week.

After the study intervention, both groups reported similar improvements in hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. However, there were no side effects reported in the acupuncture group, whereas some women in the antidepressant group had nausea, dry mouth, headache, trouble sleeping, constipation and other side effects.

Walker also said that many of those receiving acupuncture reported having more energy, a greater sense of well-being, and an improved sex drive.

"There are alternatives to drugs. This is a viable treatment without side effects, but it's going to take patients pushing insurance companies to get them to pay," said Walker. Currently, most insurance companies won't pay for acupuncture.

Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La., said that this is "an interesting, but very small study. Right now, I wouldn't recommend acupuncture to patients outside of a clinical trial. We need a larger prospective trial. Because the symptoms you're measuring are so variable, it really requires a large number of people to answer."

More information

To learn more about acupuncture, visit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.



SOURCES: Eleanor Walker, M.D., director, breast radiation oncology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit; Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman, hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, La.; Sept. 22, 2008, presentation, American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's annual meeting, Boston

Last Updated: Sept. 22, 2008

Copyright © 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Licensed by www.eholistic.com