Acupuncture Reduces Breast Cancer-related Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
HOT FLASHES, NIGHT SWEATS, MENOPAUSE, BREAST CANCER, CHEMOTHERAPY SIDE EFFECTS, TAMOXIFEN - Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine
In a single-arm, observational study involving 50 subjects (at least 35 years of age) with early breast cancer (at least 6 months post-active cancer treatment), receiving tamoxifen for at least 6 months and experiencing at least 4 hot flashes and night sweats per day for at least 3 months, treatment with acupuncture (8 treatments) was found to reduce the frequency of hot flashes and night sweats by an average of 50%, and a trend towards long-term effects was indicated by positive results maintained at 4 and 18 weeks after the end of the treatment period. At the end of the treatment period, significant improvements were found in: anxiety/fears; memory/concentration; menstrual problems; sexual behavior; sleep problems; somatic symptoms; and vasomotor symptoms. Moreover, the perception of hot flashes and night sweats as a problem reduced by 2.2 points. The authors state, "These results compare favorably with other studies using acupuncture to manage HF&NS, as well as research on non-hormonal pharmaceutical treatments. In addition to reduced HF&NS frequency, women enjoyed improved physical and emotional well-being, and few side-effects were reported." They conclude, "Further research is warranted into this approach, which offers breast cancer survivors choice in managing a chronic condition."
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