Updated: Mar 28
Breast cancer is a serious condition that requires aggressive and often highly invasive care. Western medicine has developed an arsenal of treatments that are often very effective but whose side effects can be very debilitating. Side effects in addition to the symptoms of cancer and the anxiety associated with a breast cancer diagnosis, significantly affect the quality of life of patients.
Many people believe that the side effects of cancer treatments are inevitable and must be endured until the end of treatment. However, it is not the case. Acupuncture, and Chinese medicine in general, are effective in relieving the side effects of breast cancer treatments, without interfering with it.
Acupuncture relieves cancer-related fatigue: Fatigue is very common in patients with cancer. It is estimated that more than 40% of women experience moderate to severe fatigue related to breast cancer. Sometimes this fatigue can last for years after the end of the treatments. The University of Manchester in England has conducted a study on the effects of acupuncture on fatigue in breast cancer patients [i]. At the end of the 6-week study, women who received acupuncture treatments reported feeling much less physically and mentally fatigued. They also reported being less anxious and depressed, and noted an improvement in their overall well-being and quality of life.
Acupuncture reduces hot flashes: One of the common side effects of breast cancer treatments is hot flashes, especially for hormonal-dependent breast cancers. Yale and Pittsburgh Universities conducted a joint study to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on hot flashes [ii]. Women who received acupuncture treatments had a 30% decrease in hot flushes while women in the control group did not notice any improvement.
Acupuncture reduces joint pain: Some breast cancer treatments can cause joint pain and stiffness. A study from Columbia University has shown a significant decrease in joint pain [iii]. 20% said they no longer needed painkillers.
Improve your well-being:
The studies mentioned above clearly show that acupuncture is an ideal therapeutic approach to support women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Acupuncture has no side effects, is safe and does not affect conventional treatments. Not having to suffer the various side effects of the unnecessary cancer treatments and the suffering they bring, you can maintain a certain quality of life and focus on your recovery.