Breast cancer is a disease that will affect the lives of countless people around the world. It has touched my family, as I lost an Aunt many years ago to it. According to the latest statistics, breast cancer affects about 1 in 8 women and 1 in 883 men(1). The good news is that thanks to advances in early detection and treatments, survival rates are on the rise(2). Many of these life-saving treatments, unfortunately, come with some unpleasant side effects. This is where acupuncture can help.
Standard therapies for breast cancer can include surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and radiation(3). A trial study showed acupuncture can help with postoperative pain when used in conjunction with standard care, as well as help with postoperative depression(4). Acupuncture can also help women undergoing chemotherapy, as acupuncture can help with side effects such as fatigue(5) and nausea(6).
Since many types of breast cancer are affected by estrogen, many breast cancer patients are put on medications known as aromatase inhibitors such as Letrozole or an estrogen modulator like Tamoxifen. These medications can help with the recurrence of breast cancer but include side effects like hot flashes. In the case of long-term aromatase inhibitor usage, it can also cause joint pain and stiffness. Again, acupuncture has shown promise in the reduction of these symptoms, as well as others(7,8).
Acupuncture can be a great compliment to conventional cancer therapies. Call our office any time at (407) 732-6920 to discuss how it can help you.