Chinese acupuncture limits joint pain that afflicts breast cancer patients, according to a recent US study. The study was conducted by researchers from the US Cancer Institute's Clinical Trials Network, and published in the Journal of the American Society for the Advancement of Science.
To reach the results of the study, the team followed the case of 226 menopausal women with early breast cancer who were given pain-relieving Aromatase inhibitors, and this type of medication is used among women with breast cancer.
"Many breast cancer patients have side effects that stop them completely," the researchers said, prompting the team to identify strategies to control these most common side effects, including pain.
- The researchers tested the effectiveness of Chinese acupuncture to help breast cancer patients to get rid of pain. 110 women received acupuncture sessions, 59 received needles and placebo needles after needles were placed in ineffective centers.
- All patients were subjected to real and placebo acupuncture sessions twice a week for 6 weeks, followed by one session per week for another 6 weeks.
- After the trials were completed, patients in the real acupuncture group reported significantly less pain scores than those in phantom acupuncture.
- The researchers said the results of the study showed that women with pain related to breast cancer treatments could benefit from acupuncture sessions in alleviating the pain caused by cancer treatments.
- According to the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of tumor among women worldwide, and in the Middle East in particular.
About 1.4 million new cases are diagnosed each year, and more than 450,000 women die each year around the world, the agency said.