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Acupuncture a Powerful Tool in Complementary Cancer Care

Our colleagues over at Mesothelioma.com contacted BIOM to share an article which makes the case for what we’ve been saying for years: Oriental Medicine has a role to play in the broad range of health care.

More people worldwide use acupuncture than any other type of health care or treatment.

Key points include:

  • Doctors have been increasingly integrating acupuncture into their palliative cancer treatment programs.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that more people worldwide utilize acupuncture than any other type of health care or treatment.

  • The WHO recognizes acupuncture as an effective method for helping individuals deal with side effects like pain and fatigue stemming from chemotherapy and other cancer-related treatments.

  • Doctors are using acupuncture to offset the side-effects of chemotherapy and other cancer-related treatments.

    So it’s interesting to see that doctors, nurses and other health professionals are using acupuncture as part of their everyday cancer care.

    You can read the full article below.


    Acupuncture a Powerful Tool in Complementary Cancer Care
    Complementary therapies, while not given the attention that more traditional cancer therapies may receive, are perhaps equally important while undergoing treatment for certain types of cancer. Patients diagnosed with difficult to treat malignancies will often use these types of therapies in conjunction with traditional surgical, chemotherapeutic, or radiology techniques to form a more comprehensive and effective treatment regimen. Among the most important and effective alternative therapies utilized by those diagnosed with cancer is acupuncture.

    Acupuncture has long been utilized as a general pain reduction method for thousands of years, originating in the Far East and gradually being utilized throughout the world. Acupuncture’s role in cancer management however, is relatively new and indications are that its utilization has not been fully maximized yet. Effective cancer treatment often depends on the patient’s ability to not only defeat the cancer through treatments, but also to maintain their health and mental spirit throughout the painful side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.

    Acupuncture’s role in cancer management however, is relatively new and indications are that its utilization has not been fully maximized yet.

    Often, the symptoms and effects of the cancer itself on the body are negligible compared to the pain and other side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. This is where acupuncture has been said to be most effective. Cancers such as mesothelioma, which are often unable to be removed by surgical means, are often treated with some combination of chemotherapy and radiation. While these potent therapies can be effective in eliminating some of the tumor mass and growth, they also profoundly affect the health of the surrounding tissue. Symptoms of these effects, including: fever, nausea, and general pain have been dramatically reduced through the utilization of acupuncture. Patients, who are able to withstand these symptoms and recover quickly, will often be able to be more aggressively treated, increasing the efficacy of the treatment regimen as a whole.

    If acupuncture can assist in any way in helping patients recover or manage symptoms of chemotherapy or radiation, then it will have contributed to the treatment regimen’s overall efficacy, and should certainly be used.

    Acupuncture may not be the answer for each patient’s pain and individual symptoms, but it’s certainly worth exploring as it can do very little harm in trying therapies patients and their physicians believe may be of some help. The goal with alternative therapies, as with traditional therapies, is always to increase the effectiveness of treatment as a whole. If acupuncture can assist in any way in helping patients recover or manage symptoms of chemotherapy or radiation, then it will have contributed to the treatment regimen’s overall efficacy, and should certainly be utilized.

    Written by Jack Bleeker Mesothelioma.com
    June 1, 2009

     

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    IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.