Welcome to my blog, discover acupuncture with Dr Maggie Ju

Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.

Monday, 1 August 2022

Acupuncture helps reduce side effects of chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment where medicine is used to kill cancer cells. There are many different types of chemotherapy medicine, but they all work in a similar way. They stop cancer cells reproducing, which prevents them from growing and spreading in the body.

Side effects of chemotherapy

As well as killing cancer cells, chemotherapy can damage some healthy cells in your body, such as blood cells, skin cells, nerve cells, and cells in the stomach.

Common side effects of chemotherapy drugs include:

Nausea, Vomiting, Loss of appetite, Diarrhea, Hair loss, Fatigue, Fever, Mouth sores, Pain or numbness, Constipation, Easy bruising, Bleeding.

Emerging research has shown that acupuncture can relieve cancer pain, chemotherapy-related side effects.

Acupuncture may reduce postoperative opioid consumption and reduce opioid-related side effects. A systematic review reported that during various surgeries, mainly abdominal surgeries, analgesic consumption was significantly lower in the acupuncture group compared with the sham placebo group.

Acupuncture can also reduce postoperative and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Chemotherapy-induced neuropathy is a common side effect of chemotherapy as neurotoxic drugs. Although chemotherapy-induced neuropathy is usually reversible, it may take months or years to recover. Up to 76% of patients reported neuropathic symptoms after chemotherapy.

A pilot non-RCT study was conducted to evaluate the therapeutic effect of acupuncture for chemotherapy-induced neuropathy measured by changes in nerve conduction studies in 6 patients treated with acupuncture for 10 weeks. Using objective measurement of the nerve conduction studies, at 3 months follow-up after acupuncture treatment, 5 out of 6 patients showed improvement in nerve conduction studies as compared to the control group, in which only 1 out of 5 patients showed improvement.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4008096/#R18

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