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: To evaluate the effect of applied relaxation and electro-acupuncture on vasomotor symptoms in women treated for breast cancer. Thirty-eight postmenopausal women with breast cancer and vasomotor symptoms were randomized to treatment with electro-acupuncture (n = 19) or applied relaxation (n = 19) during 12 weeks. The number of hot flushes was registered daily in a logbook before and during treatment and after 3 and 6 months of follow-up. Thirty-one women completed 12 weeks of treatment and 6 months of follow-up. After 12 weeks of applied relaxation, the number of flushes/24 h had decreased from 9.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 6.6-11.9) at baseline to 4.5 (95% CI 3.2-5.8) and to 3.9 (95% CI 1.8-6.0) at 6 months follow-up (n = 14). The flushes/24 h were reduced from 8.4 (95% CI 6.6-10.2) to 4.1 (95% CI 3.0-5.2) after 12 weeks of treatment with electro-acupuncture and to 3.5 (95% CI 1.7-5.3) after 6 months follow-up (n = 17). In both groups, the mean Kupperman Index score was significantly reduced after treatment and remained unchanged 6 months after end of treatment. We suggest that applied relaxation and electro-acupuncture should be further evaluated as possible treatments for vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women with breast cancer.Climacteric 10/2005; 8(3):243-50. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Young women with breast cancer often experience early menopause as a result of the therapy for their malignant disease. The sudden occurrence of menopause resulting from chemotherapy, oophorectomy, radiation, or gonadal dysgenesis frequently results in hot flashes that begin at a younger age and may occur at a greater frequency and intensity than hot flashes associated with natural menopause. Hormone therapy relieves symptoms effectively in 80%-90% of women who initiate treatment. This therapy, however, is generally contraindicated in estrogen-dependent cancers, such as breast cancer, because of the potentially increased risk for recurrence. Many agents have been investigated as potential means for alleviating hot flashes in survivors of breast cancer, such as progestagens, clonidine, gabapentin, and anti-depressants. Several complementary and alternative medicines frequently used by patients have also been studied. These include black cohosh, phytoestrogens, homeopathy, vitamin E, acupuncture, and behavior strategies. To support the use of one of more of these nonpharmacological or pharmacological options in the treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer patients, more evidence from well-controlled clinical trials is needed. In particular, soundly based scientific research with complementary and alternative medicine therapies is lacking. Pharmacological treatments appear to be more beneficial than nonpharmacological treatments. This article reviews the current literature to assess the epidemiology and diagnosis of hot flashes and the nonpharmacological and pharmacological options for the treatment of hot flashes, in breast cancer patients in particular. When specific treatment options have not been evaluated in breast cancer patients specifically, published data on the management of hot flashes with this modality in healthy postmenopausal women are described.The Oncologist 07/2006; 11(6):641-54. · 4.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To assess if transdermal or oral estrogens, acupuncture and applied relaxation decrease the number of menopausal hot flushes/24 h and improve climacteric symptoms, as assessed by the Kupperman index, more than transdermal placebo treatment. An outpatient clinic at a Swedish university hospital. A total of 102 postmenopausal women were recruited to two studies performed in parallel. In Study I, the women were randomized between transdermal placebo or estrogen treatment and, in Study II, between oral estrogens, acupuncture or applied relaxation for 12 weeks. Climacteric symptoms were measured with daily logbooks on hot flushes. Women completed the assessment questionnaire for the Kupperman index at baseline and after 12 weeks. The number of flushes/24 h decreased significantly after 4 and 12 weeks in all groups except the placebo group. Both at 4 and 12 weeks, acupuncture decreased the number of flushes more (p<0.05; p<0.01, respectively) than placebo. At 12 weeks, applied relaxation decreased the number of flushes more (p<0.05) than placebo. The Kupperman index score decreased in all groups except the placebo group. The decrease in score was significantly greater in all treatment groups than in the placebo group (p<0.01). Acupuncture and applied relaxation both reduced the number of hot flushes significantly better than placebo and should be further evaluated as alternatives to hormone therapy in women with menopausal vasomotor complaints.Climacteric 03/2007; 10(1):38-45. · 1.96 Impact Factor