As many of you may be aware of, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! Each year, many charities come together to raise money and increase awareness for the brave fight against breast cancer in hopes of finding a cure. Here is some more information on the topic of breast cancer and how to combat the negative symptoms that it brings.
Run Down of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast start to grow out of control, often forming a lump or tumor. If malignant, it has the ability to spread to other areas of the body through the blood or lymphatic system and cause a lot of harm. Contrary to popular belief, it is actually possible for both men and women to be diagnosed with breast cancer, although it is most commonly seen in women.
Along with the many trials to one’s health breast cancer brings, there are multiple side effects that one faces during the fight and even after they are cancer-free. One of the most common is pain. Cancer related pain can originate from bone metastasis, nerve compression, and the cancer itself.For most, this pain can be excruciating, and for patients that try to avoid opioid dependencies, there are many holistic substitutes. One of those being acupuncture. According to the Cancer Network, “Since January 2018, the Joint Commission, which accredits more than 20,000 US healthcare facilities, has required hospitals to pay more attention to safe opioid use and to include nonpharmacologic pain treatment modalities in its standard for pain management. In addition, a recent National Cancer Institute (NCI) symposium on acupuncture highlighted the clinical evidence for its use in oncology symptom management.”
Recently, a study was conducted to establish the effects of acupuncture on pain symptoms in breast cancer patients by the NCI Community Oncology Research Program where they found that women who received proper acupuncture by licensed professionals experienced twice the reduction in pain than those who received placebo treatments. Many other studies have been conducted showing positive results for wide ranges of patients.
Aside from pain relief, acupuncture has also been shown to also help with other symptoms that occur with the onset of cancer. These include drasticfatigue, hot flashes, nausea, and vomiting. Doctors advise providing a more natural and safer alternative to opioids. “Reducing the drug toxicity experience may then translate into improved adherence to therapy, and ultimately, improved breast cancer outcomes,” Dr. Reinbolt said. As a result, acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular today in supportive cancer care due to its increasing evidence base and patient preferences.
It is recommended to perform regular physical activity, maintain a healthy diet, and refrain from consuming exorbitant amounts of alcohol in order to decrease your risk of breast cancer. Women should get regular doctor checkups, especially if you are more susceptible to breast cancer.
To learn more about how Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture can help you manage your symptoms, call 832.282.3306or click here to schedule your appointment today.