Acupuncture for Cancer Treatment-Induced Hot Flashes
A recent study suggests that acupuncture may reduce hot flashes caused by prostate cancer treatment.
Prostate cancer is caused by an uncontrollable growth of cells in the prostate gland. The condition develops slowly and generally affects older men. Androgen ablation therapy (AAT) is a type of hormone therapy often used to treat prostate cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. A common side effect of AAT is hot flashes.
In a recent study, acupuncture treatments were given to 14 men treated with AAT for prostate cancer and experiencing hot flashes. The researchers used a hot flash score to measure daily hot flashes before treatment, at week two, week six and after an average eight month follow-up.
The researchers found that acupuncture significantly reduced the number of daily hot flashes from 28.3 to 10.3 two weeks after treatment. Daily hot flashes were further reduced to 7.5 by week six and 7.0 after eight months. An average 80.3 percent clinical improvement was measured after eight months. No side effects were reported.
The authors concluded that acupuncture may significantly reduce hot flashes for men undergoing AAT for prostate cancer; however, additional well-designed clinical trials are necessary before conclusions can be made.
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1.Ashamalla H, Jiang ML, Guirguis A, et al. Acupuncture for the alleviation of hot flashes in men treated with androgen ablation therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Apr 1;79(5):1358-63. View Abstract
2.Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. http://www.naturalstandard.com/