Treatment of hot flushes in breast cancer patients with acupuncture
A common treatment for post-menopausal hot flushes is to raise oestrogen levels with hormone replacement therapy. However this option is not considered suitable for breast cancer patients with hormone sensitive carcinoma, since an increase in oestrogen is contraindicated. This leaves little available as an effective conventional therapy.
There has been some evidence that acupuncture is a suitable treatment for hot flushes, so a series of 22 consecutive breast cancer patients referred by an oncologist for treatment of hot flushes were given a course of classical body acupuncture with two 20–30min treatment sessions per week for up to 7 weeks. The frequency of recorded hot flushes (both day and night) had improved significantly (p<0.001) by the end of treatment. All patients claimed some benefit and 82% had effective relief.