Acupuncture’s benefits extend to a myriad of health conditions. Research suggests acupuncture works as well as counseling for treating depression, for instance. It may also improve fatigue, anxiety and depression in cancer patients in as little as eight weeks.
Breast cancer patients undergoing treatment with aromatase inhibitors commonly suffer from joint pain that can cause a multitude of side effects including sleep disturbances and emotional distress. A study in the medical journal Cancer looked at acupuncture to see if patients might find relief. The findings were quite encouraging. According to researchers:
Compared with usual care, acupuncture produced significant improvements in fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
As joint pain is a common side effect of aromatase inhibitor treatment for breast cancer, many patients will discontinue treatment prematurely due to the pain. Researchers from the journal Integrative Cancer Therapies reviewed a number of studies published to see if acupuncture might help reduce joint pain and therefore improve adherence to treatment. They also found benefits with acupuncture, noting:
The systematic review suggests that acupuncture has potential benefits to improve arthralgia caused by AIs (aromatase inhibitors).
Although cancer treatment can be extremely challenging both physically and emotionally, acupuncture has shown great promise for those fighting the battle. When it comes to defeating cancer, make sure acupuncture is part of your therapy.