03. March 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Cancer

Authors from Hong Kong have produced a comprehensive overview of the current evidence available from systematic reviews of the effectiveness of acupuncture for palliative cancer care. Their analysis synthesised the results from 23 systematic reviews involving 248 primary studies that included 17,392 participants with any type of cancer. They concluded that acupuncture and related therapies clearly demonstrate favourable therapeutic effects in the management of cancer-related fatigue, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and leucopenia in patients with cancer. Current evidence regarding the treatment of cancer-related pain, hot flushes, hiccups and improving patients’ quality of life, was judged to be conflicting, while the available evidence to support or refute the potential of acupuncture in the management of xerostomia, dyspnoea, lymphoedema and the improvement of psychological well-being was found to be insufficient. None of the trials studied reported any serious adverse effects, and, because of this safety profile, the authors suggest that acupuncture could be considered as a complementary form of palliative care for cancer, especially for clinical problems for which conventional care options are limited.
Effectiveness of acupuncture and related therapies for palliative care of cancer: overview of systematic reviews. Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 26;5:16776. doi: 10.1038/srep16776.

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