The National Cancer Institute provides the following information on the use of acupuncture for cancer treatment.
- Acupuncture applies needles, heat, pressure, and other treatments to one or more places on the skin known as acupuncture points (see Question 1).
- Acupuncture has been used in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years as part of traditional Chinese medicine (see Question 2).
- Acupuncture has been used in the United States for about 200 years (see Question 2).
- Acupuncture is used to treat many illnesses and ailments and in cancer patients is usually used to relieve pain and other symptoms and improve quality of life. (see Question 2).
- There is strong evidence from clinical trials that acupuncture relieves nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy (see Question 8).
- Acupuncture may work by causing physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain (see Question 4).
- Laboratory and animal studies of acupuncture for cancer treatment suggest acupuncture can reduce vomiting caused by chemotherapy (see Question 7).
- Most acupuncture research with cancer patients studies the use of acupuncture to relieve symptoms caused by cancer treatment (see Question 8).
- It is important that acupuncture treatment be given by a qualified practitioner who uses a new set of disposable (single-use) needles for each patient (see Question 9).
Acupuncture During Cancer Treatment