Acupuncture can significantly improve postmenopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and insomnia in breast cancer patients. This is the conclusion of a study.
Women with breast cancer are often suffer more from menopausal symptoms like hot flashes or sleep disorders, than healthy women of the same age. Researchers, now, want to examine the effect of acupuncture on these symptoms. In the randomized, double-blind study 94 women participated, who were undergoing treatment for breast cancer and one suffering from climacteric symptoms. Of the patients who were on average 61 years old, 31 received acupuncture, 29 receive sham acupuncture, and a the remaining 34 women in the control group stay without acupuncture.
Acupuncture and sham treatment were carried out once a week for 15 to 20 minutes over five weeks in total. The acupuncture needles were placed along the meridians on the wrist and foot. After the second meeting, was found significant improvement in the acupuncture group. In 52 percent of women was found improvement of the hot flashes symptoms. The subjects who receive a sham acupuncture, there were only 24 percent. In the control group, there were no improvements.
The sleep disorders too could be significantly reduced through acupuncture. After the third acupuncture session only 12 from 22 women complained on restless nights. The effect of the treatment stopped in all patients at up to a minimum of three months. But so far, the study has inconsistent results. The study complements and supports the investigations, which could also include previously the positive effects of acupuncture on post-menopausal symptoms in cancer patients.