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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Acupuncture may ease cancer-related fatigue




Acupuncture may help relieve fatigue in women who've had breast cancer, a new UK study suggests.Researchers found that women who attended six weekly acupuncture sessions had greater improvements in fatigue as well as anxiety, depression and quality of life, compared to those who only received educational materials.

But that still doesn't prove it was the needles, themselves, that boosted women's energy levels, they said. And one cancer and alternative medicine researcher not part of the study team said the acupuncture group only showed a "modest improvement in fatigue - it was not a very remarkable, strong effect."

Still, acupuncture could be "well worth a try" for some people, Dr. Amit Sood, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Reuters Health.

"Fatigue is the most common symptom for all cancer patients," said Carol Enderlin, who has studied that topic at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

She said cancer and cancer treatments can cause chronic pain, psychological stress and anemia - a decrease in healthy red blood cells - all of which contribute to fatigue. In addition, people who are nauseated after chemo might not be getting the most nutritious diet for maintaining energy levels.

Enderlin, who also wasn't involved in the new study, said acupuncture may help as an add-on therapy for women who've had their fatigue checked out by a doctor and tinkered with their physical activity and diet - but are still frequently tired.

30/10/2012  :  Genevra Pittman / Reuters.

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