Could Acupuncture Relieve Breast Cancer Treatment Pain? New Study Shows Positive Results
For centuries, acupuncture has been used as an effective stress and pain reliever. It’s no wonder the practice has gained an active following throughout the world. Recent research is now showing that acupuncture can be used to relieve the joint pains commonly experienced by patients undertaking cancer treatment.
A little less comfortable
The most commonly used treatment for breast cancer, specifically the hormone-sensitive kind, are aromatase inhibitors. Despite their effectiveness, they inadvertently result in side effects such as joint stiffness, pain, and arthralgia.
As a matter of fact, arthralgia occurs in nearly half the number of people that take these inhibitors. In some extreme cases, the condition can be so severe that it can cause the patients to give up and drop the treatment altogether.
Acupuncture coming into play
This being the case, research has been done so as to find a way for the effect of these drugs to be minimized, so that cancer patients can be more able to tolerate the drugs, and therefore improve their chances of survival with the treatment.
For years, it has been known that acupuncture plays a vital role in curing quite a number of diseases. However, its role in reducing pain relief and providing a placebo effect has always been a big mystery. As a matter of fact, there hasn’t been any scientific proof, prompting a recent study to be carried by Dr. Dawn L. Hershman together with his team to figure out the connection.
The study in question consisted of 226 postmenopausal women in the United States who were in the early development stage of breast cancer. All the patients were experiencing arthralgia as a result of taking the aromatase inhibitors.
During the study, the participants were divided into three groups; control, acupuncture, and sham acupuncture. Of note is that the sham acupuncture group were given a somewhat similar treatment to the acupuncture group, with the only difference being that the needles used were much thinner and had a lesser penetration range through the skin.
The patients in the acupuncture groups had two sessions every week for 6 weeks straight, then followed by one week sessions for six weeks.
Results of the study
To determine the results of the study, the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) was used, which determined the amount of pain experienced in a 24 hour period. The BPI itself had a scale starting from 0-10, with 10 being the highest pain factor. All the women had an average pain mark of 3 prior to the trials beginning.
Interestingly, at the six-week mark, it was observed that the BPI score for the women had dropped an impressive 2.05 points, with that of the sham acupuncture dropping 1.07 points, and 0.99 for that of the control group.
By the 12th week, it was observed that the average BPI score for the acupuncture group was significantly less than that of the two groups.
Conclusively, though some benefits were observed, the study still leaves plenty of questions unaccounted for; so much so to the point that the observed improvements could not be recorded as of clinical importance.
That being said, due to the benefits improved, the study has paved way for more decisive trials to be carried out moving forward.
More in Health & Well-being
Katie Holmes Treated Her Daughter with This Extravagant Present on Her Birthday
While most parents treat their kids to lavish gifts and surprise parties when they turn 18, Katie Holmes opted not to wait that long...June 15, 2019
After a String of Heartbreaks Princess Beatrice May Have Finally Found True Love!
When we talk about the royal family, the first names that come to mind are those of the two most famous royal...June 15, 2019
Disappointed with Your Career? These Awesome Tips Will Turn It Around!
Careers are amazing, aren’t they? Not only are they full of awesome moments (especially when we all have a laugh about...June 15, 2019
The Importance of Networking and How It Can Elevate Your Career Path
Getting a headstart in your career is extremely important, especially if you plan to be an influencer in the next couple...June 15, 2019
Here’s the Best Time to Submit Your Resume, According to Hiring Managers
A job seeker’s ultimate weapon is their resume according to the HR experts. The resume serves as our window to land...June 15, 2019
Experts Reveal THIS Diet Plan Works Best for Patients with Diabetics
Most people who have Diabetes are advised to stay away from eating foods with a high glycemic index to manage their...June 15, 2019
Sandra Bullock’s Anti-Aging Secrets That We All Need to Follow for Youthful Skin
Millions of Sandra Bullock fans worldwide may have admired the renowned actress after her phenomenal performance in Netflix’s Bird Box, but...June 15, 2019
Is Falling in Love Really Good for You? Here’s the Surprising Answer
Love has been defined and dissected a million ways. Whether it is a deep feeling or a symbol that keeps you...June 15, 2019
Get a Chance to Live at the Buckingham Palace for FREE If You Pass This Intensive Test
Most people can only dream of what it’s like to live like royalty. We all wish we could trade lives with a Prince...June 15, 2019