Acupuncture Reduces Endocrine Symptoms, Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer

Significant improvement seen in endocrine symptom subscale score, hot flash score, FACT-Breast total score
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

MONDAY, June 24, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- A 10-week acupuncture intervention significant reduces endocrine symptoms and hot flashes among women with breast cancer receiving endocrine therapy (ET), according to a study published online June 24 in Cancer.

Weidong Lu, M.P.H., Ph.D., from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues enrolled 158 patients with stage 0 to III breast cancer who were receiving ET and experiencing hot flashes through three parallel, randomized trials in the United States, China, and South Korea (78, 40, and 40 patients, respectively). Participants were randomly allocated to receive immediate acupuncture (IA), which comprised 20 sessions over 10 weeks, or delayed acupuncture control (DAC), whereby participants received usual care then crossed over to reduced intensity acupuncture.

The researchers found that compared with DAC participants, IA participants reported significant improvements in the endocrine symptom subscale score, the hot flash score, and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast total score at 10 weeks. The effect of the acupuncture intervention varied by site.

"Additional trials are needed to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on hot flashes in more racially and ethnically diverse populations of patients with breast cancer and to determine whether improvements in hot flashes translate into better medication adherence, increasing the likelihood that acupuncture not only could help patients feel better during ET but also may help to improve cancer‐related outcomes in women with breast cancer," the authors write.

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