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Acupuncture Can Reduce Chemotherapy Side Effects

(From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Acupuncture helps control common side effects of chemotherapy.

Each year, millions of patients undergo chemotherapy as part of treatment for cancer. Chemotherapy is an important and effective treatment for cancer, using very strong drugs that target cancer cells to eradicate them. Although beneficial in controlling some cancers and increasing survival of patients, chemotherapy can have many negative side effects including nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, anemia, body ache, headache, night sweats, stomach cramps and diarrhea.

Acupuncture has shown promising results in controlling common side effects of chemotherapy. Using thin, sterile acupuncture needles in specific points on the body, acupuncture is used to redirect energy through acupuncture channels (or meridians). It has been shown that patients who use acupuncture in conjunction with a chemotherapy regimen can better tolerate treatment and experience fewer side effects.

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