Acupuncture Reduces Breast Cancer-Related Fatigue

Improvements also seen in quality of life after six weeks of treatment

MONDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture significantly reduces fatigue and improves quality of life in breast cancer patients with cancer-related fatigue, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Alexander Molassiotis, R.N., Ph.D., from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues studied 302 patients with breast cancer and cancer-related fatigue, randomly assigning 75 patients to usual care (receiving a booklet about managing fatigue) and 227 patients to acupuncture once a week for six weeks plus usual care. Of the patients, 246 provided complete data at six weeks.

After six weeks, the researchers found that acupuncture significantly reduced general fatigue, physical and mental fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Acupuncture also significantly improved quality of life, including physical, functional, emotional, and social functioning well-being.

"Acupuncture is an effective intervention for managing the symptom of cancer-related fatigue and improving patients' quality of life," Molassiotis and colleagues conclude. "To our knowledge, this is the first large multisite trial of its kind and provides some evidence of the effects of acupuncture."

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