Acupuncture may provide help for cancer sufferers.
American researchers carried out an open clinical trial showing that acupuncture appears to be effective for reducing pain and other symptoms in cancer patients. 57 cancer patients received acupuncture to target pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue and nausea. A total of 25 of these patients were considered to have completed treatment after receiving 9 or more sessions of acupuncture.
For patients completing the course of acupuncture pain severity was found to decrease by 32% from baseline to the last session. The incidence of pain interfering with daily living decreased by 40%. These fantastic changes were matched by improvement in other symptoms: symptoms of pain, nausea and fatigue decreased by 50%, while anxiety dropped by 44%. All changes in symptom scores except for nausea were found to be significant.
Researchers concluded that:
This semi-structured acupuncture protocol appeared to be effective for reducing cancer-related pain and other symptoms. Further study with a larger sample size, an appropriate control, and adequate follow-up is warranted. It would also be helpful to assess pragmatic outcomes including nausea and pain medication use and hospital admission for pain.