Acupuncture Reduces Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors

“Acupuncture may be a viable treatment for women experiencing hot flashes as a result of estrogen-targeting therapies to treat breast cancer, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Hot flashes are particularly severe and frequent in breast cancer survivors, but current FDA-approved remedies for these unpleasant episodes, such as hormone replacement therapies are off-limits to breast cancer survivors because they include estrogen. The results of the study are published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

” ‘Though most people associate hot flashes with menopause, the episodes also affect many breast cancer survivors who have low estrogen levels and often undergo premature menopause, following treatment with chemotherapy or surgery,’ said lead author Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, associate professor of Family Medicine and Community Health. ‘These latest results clearly show promise for managing hot flashes experienced by breast cancer survivors through the use of acupuncture, which in previous studies has also been proven to be an effective treatment for joint pain in this patient population.’ “

Alternative Therapies Can Benefit People with Lung Cancer

New guidelines extend care for lung cancer to nontraditional treatments, including mind–body therapies to alleviate anxiety and pain as well as acupuncture for nausea during chemotherapy. Adopted by the Society of Integrative Oncology (SIO), these guidelines are evidence based and were drawn from a review of existing studies. Importantly, the researchers stress that alternative therapies are not enough on their own, but rather must be integrated with traditional care. The lung cancer guidelines are the SIO’s fourth set, and the next guidelines will focus on how integrative therapies can benefit people with breast cancer.