Cancer Treatment Side Effects & Supportive and Palliative Care
Acupuncture for cancer pain
Acupuncture effects on analgesia for cancer pain have been reported for stomach cancer pain; metastatic bone pain, anesthesia during removal of brain neoplasm, and cancer-related pain.
One large randomized controlled study (RCT), involving 286 cancer patients with bone metastasis, showed that acupuncture was associated with decreased pain and consequent reduction in dose of analgesic and sedative drugs needed among 212 of the 286 patients. In another study, Xu et al treated 92 cancer patients with abdominal pain secondary to metastatic lesions. Nearly three fourths (72%) of patients experienced symptom relief for up to one month following one to two weeks of daily acupuncture treatment.
When delivered by properly trained licensed acupuncturists, acupuncture is a safe practice with a history of very rare adverse events (related to extremely low platelet count, under 20000 per ml).
Acupuncture can be useful for co-management of pain in oncology patients in conjunction with allopathic pain medications such as opiates or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents.
References - Hide References
- Dang W, Yang J. Clinical study on acupuncture treatment of stomach carcinoma pain. J Tradit Chin Med. 1998;18:31-38.
- Alimi D, Rubino C, Pichard-Leandri E, Fermand-Brule S, Dubreuil-Lemaire ML, Hill C. Analgesic effect of auricular acupuncture for cancer pain: a randomized, blinded, controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2003;21:4120-4126.
- Alimi D, Rubino C, Leandri EP, Brule SF. Analgesic effects of auricular acupuncture for cancer pain. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2000;19:81-82.
- Guo R, Zhang L, Gong Y, Zhang B. The treatment of pain in bone metastasis of cancer with the analgesic decoction of cancer and the acupoint therapeutic apparatus. J Tradit Chin Med. 1995;15:262-264.
- Jiang C. [Normalization of acupuncture anesthesia used in operation of neoplasm in functional area or deep site of brain]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 1996;21:4-7.
- Xu S, Liu Z, Xu M. Treatment of cancerous abdominal pain by acupuncture on zusanli (ST 36)--a report of 92 cases. J Tradit Chin Med. 1995;15:189-191.