Acupuncture for the treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer patients, a randomized, controlled trial.
ABSTRACT Acupuncture has been used to treat the problem of hot flashes in healthy postmenopausal women. The object of this study was to investigate the efficacy of acupuncture in women with breast cancer suffering from hot flashes as a result of anti-oestrogen medication. In a prospective, controlled trial, 59 women suffering from hot flashes following breast cancer surgery and adjuvant oestrogen-antagonist treatment (Tamoxifen) were randomized to either 10 weeks of traditional Chinese acupuncture or sham acupuncture (SA). Mean number of hot flashes at day and night were recorded prior to treatment, during the treatment period as well as during the 12 weeks following treatment. A validated health score (Kupperman index) was conducted at baseline, at the end of the treatment period and at 12 weeks following treatment. During the treatment period mean number of hot flashes at day and night was significantly reduced by 50 and almost 60%, respectively from baseline in the acupuncture group, and was further reduced by 30% both at day and night during the next 12 weeks. In the sham acupuncture group a significant reduction of 25% in hot flashes at day was seen during treatment, but was reversed during the following 12 weeks. No reduction was seen in hot flashes at night. Kupperman index was reduced by 44% from baseline to the end of the treatment period in the acupuncture group, and largely maintained 12 weeks after treatment ended. No corresponding changes were seen in the sham acupuncture group. Acupuncture seems to provide effective relief from hot flashes both day and night in women operated for breast cancer, treated with Tamoxifen. This treatment effect seems to coincide with a general health improvement measured with the validated Kupperman index.
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ABSTRACT: Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) have been associated with decrements in patient-reported outcomes (PROs). The objective of this study was to assess whether real acupuncture (RA), compared with sham acupuncture (SA), improves PROs in patients with breast cancer who are receiving an adjuvant AI. Postmenopausal women with a stage 0 through III breast cancer who received an AI and had treatment-associated musculoskeletal symptoms were randomized to receive 8 weekly RA versus SA in a dual-center, randomized controlled trial. The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) menopausal symptoms questionnaire, the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CESD) scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the hot flash daily diary, the Hot Flash-Related Daily Interference Scale (HFRDI), and the European quality-of-life survey (EuroQol) were used to assess PROs at baseline and at 4weeks, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks. The intention-to-treat analysis included 23 patients in the RA arm and 24 patients in the SA arm. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the 2 groups. Compared with baseline, scores in the RA arm improved significantly at week 8 on the CESD (P = .022), hot flash severity (P = .006), hot flash frequency (P = .011), the HFRDI (P = .014), and NSABP menopausal symptoms (P = .022); scores in the SA arm improved significantly on the EuroQol (P = .022),the HFRDI (P = .043), and NSABP menopausal symptoms (P = .005). Post-hoc analysis indicated that African American patients (n = 9) benefited more from RA than SA compared with non-African American patients (n = 38) in reducing hot flash severity (P < .001) and frequency (P < .001) scores. Both RA and SA were associated with improvement in PROs among patients with breast cancer who were receiving AIs, and no significant difference was detected between arms. Racial differences in response to acupuncture warrant further study. Cancer 2013. © 2013 American Cancer Society.Cancer 12/2013; · 5.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on hot flushes and other menopause-related symptoms used in an integrated system, including such therapeutic techniques as diet therapy and Tuina self-massage. Design: Randomized trial. Setting: Outpatient center. Participants: One hundred women in spontaneous menopause with at least three episodes of hot flushes daily were randomly allocated to two treatment groups (50 per group): Women in group A were given diet, self-massage training, and treatment with acupuncture, and women in group B (the control group) were given the same diet and self-massage training, but treatment with acupuncture started 6 weeks after they were enrolled into the study. Intervention: Acupuncture treatments were scheduled twice weekly for 6 consecutive weeks. Outcome measures: Mean change in frequency and/or intensity in menopause-related symptoms were estimated by questionnaire after treatment at week 4. Results: Treatment with acupuncture significantly reduced the occurrence of hot flushes and sudden sweating (p<.001). Other symptoms (sleep disorders, tightness in the chest, irritability, bone pain, feeling depressed) significantly improved. Conclusions: Acupuncture in an integrated system that includes therapeutic techniques such as diet therapy and Tuina self-massage can be used to treat hot flushes and selected symptoms in postmenopausal women.Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) 05/2014; · 1.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Acupuncture has been suggested as therapy for hot flashes in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer. In this systematic review, we sought to evaluate the long-term effects on vasomotor symptoms after the end of a defined treatment period of acupuncture in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer. A literature search revealed 222 articles within the field. With defined exclusion criteria, we identified 17 studies. We also used the Jadad quality score and identified seven studies with a score of at least 3. Six of seven identified studies qualified for inclusion in an analysis that measured frequency of hot flashes weighted in relation to number of patients (n = 172). The average reduction from baseline to end of acupuncture (ranging between 5 and 12 weeks of treatment) showed 43.2 % reduction of hot flashes. At the last follow-up (mean 5.8 months, range 3-9 months) after the end of therapy, the weighted reduction from baseline was sustained at 45.6 % in the 153 of 172 patients (89 %) who were followed up. Data from six prospective analyzed studies indicate at least 3-month effects after the end of acupuncture treatment for flashes in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer. However, larger randomized trials with long-term follow-up will be needed to confirm these preliminary findings.Supportive Care in Cancer 01/2014; · 2.09 Impact Factor