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Acupuncture, real or not, eases side effects of cancer drugs

Both acupuncture and sham acupuncture were effective in reducing menopausal symptoms in women being treated with aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer, a small randomized trial found

Both acupuncture and sham acupuncture were effective in reducing menopausal symptoms in women being treated with aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer, a small randomized trial found. joint and muscle pain, hot flashes and night sweats are common side side effects of those estrogen-lowering drugs. The trial, published online in Cancer, randomized 47 breast cancer patients to eight weeky sessions of either real or sham acupuncture. Those assigned to real acupuncture received treatment with needles in recognized acupoints believed to be helpful in relieving menopausal symptoms. The controls got non-penetrating needles placed in sham acupuncture joints. Patients and researchers did not know which patients had received which treatment. The patients kept a daily diaries or filled out several questionaires on the frequency and severity of hot flashes and other symptoms. Patient-reported symptoms, especially hot flashes, improved significantly after both sham and real treatment. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups. As reported in NYT and carried out in IE on Dec 28, 2013