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Acupuncture For Joint Pain Relief In Breast Cancer Patients

Posted Oct 25 2010 10:33pm
There are so many decisions to be made by a newly-diagnosed breast cancer patient.  One of them is whether or not to incorporate aromatase inhibitors into the treatment plan.  If your Doctor is recommending the aromatase inhibitors:   Arimidex, Aromasin, or Femara , this blog post is for you.

Unfortunately, the most common side effect of aromatase inhibitors is joint pain and stiffness.  So the next question is, "how do I ease the pain and stiffness without adding another pharmaceutical to the treatment plan?"  The answer just may be found at your local acupuncture clinic.  

Katherine D. Crew, M.D., M.S.,  the Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology) and Epidemiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center has found that acupuncture may, indeed, be effective in reducing pain and stiffness.

In Dr. Crew's study, 43 women with breast cancer underwent acupuncture twice a week for six weeks.  Some were treated with accurate acupuncture points and some were treated with sham acupuncture points.  The results were astounding with significant improvement in those receiving accurate acupuncture.  20% of those patients were able to stop taking their pain medications altogether.   The results of Dr. Crew's study are reported in Oncology Times.    

I would like to elaborate on Dr. Crew's findings by stating that the other benefits of acupuncture for breast cancer patients are:  better appetite, more sound sleep, more energy throughout the day, less hair loss, and stress-reduction.  

Thank you, Dr. Crew, for your outstanding service to our profession.

Tamara ZumMallen, L.Ac.

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