Cancer support treatmentCancer support treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine
Cancer treatment support
At Almond Wellness Centre we offer natural therapies for cancer support management. Our complementary approaches include acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, diet and life style advice. They are used to support your cancer treatment and management.
Evidence showed that the combination of Chinese herbal medicine and chemotherapy significantly reduced leucopenia, nausea and vomiting, thrombocytopenia and anaemia in NSCLC, gastric cancer patients. It also significantly reduced nausea and vomiting in liver cancer patients. In general, CHM appears to be useful in improving leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and anaemia among various types of cancer.
How traditional Chinese medicine support cancer treatment?
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) provide natural alternative approaches for cancer support. They may benefit cancer patients by minimising medication load and accompanying side effects. Some researches found that:
- The combination of CHM and chemotherapy significantly reduced leucopenia, nausea and vomiting, thrombocytopenia and anaemia in NSCLC, gastric cancer patients. It also significantly reduced nausea and vomiting in liver cancer patients. In general, CHM appears to be useful in improving leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and anaemia among various types of cancer.
- Reduce stress related emotional symptoms, and increase energy;
- Improve over all quality of life;
What acupuncture and Chinese medicine may be helpful for cancer support management?
Our cancer support management may provide an alternative natural ways for:
- Cancer and/or cancer treatment related fatigue;
- Pain – cancer or cancer treatment related pain, such as chemotherapy related neuropathy (pins and needles of hands/feet)
- Chemo or other cancer treatment related side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, low WBC, anaemia, low platelet count;
- Stress related sleeping problems;
- Over all quality of life.
Effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine for cancer palliative care: overview of systematic reviews with meta-analyses
Researchers [Nature] conducted an overview of systematic reviews with meta-analyses, and published on Science Report in 2015. Researchers critically appraise and summarize clinical evidence on CHM for cancer palliative care. It provides a broad overview on available evidence, which will inform clinicians, cancer patients and policy makers, and to identify methodological limitations of existing SRs so as to guide future research in this area.
Evidence showed that the combination of CHM and chemotherapy significantly reduced leucopenia, nausea and vomiting, thrombocytopenia and anemia in NSCLC, gastric cancer patients. It also significantly reduced nausea and vomiting in liver cancer patients. In general, CHM appears to be useful in improving leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and anemia among various types of cancer.
Overall, favorable therapeutic effects in improving quality of life among cancer patients have been reported. No serious adverse effects were reported in all included studies. Evidence indicated that CHM could be considered as an option for improving quality of life among patients receiving palliative care. It is unclear if CHM may increase survival, or reduce therapy related toxicities.
Effectiveness of acupuncture and related therapies for palliative care of cancer: overview of systematic reviews
A systematic review [Nature] synthesised the results from clinical trials of patients with any type of cancer. The methodological quality of the 23 systematic reviews in this overview, assessed using the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews Instrument, was found to be satisfactory. There is evidence for the therapeutic effects of acupuncture for the management of cancer-related fatigue, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and leucopenia in patients with cancer.
One study [PubMed Abstract] conducted by Memorial Sloan Kettering investigators and published in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology sought to determine if acupuncture could reduce pain and dysfunction in individuals with cancer of the head or neck who had received a surgical dissection of lymph nodes in their neck. The study evaluated 58 patients who were suffering from chronic pain or dysfunction as a result of neck dissection. For four weeks, study participants were randomly assigned into one of two groups: those receiving weekly acupuncture sessions and those receiving standard care, which included physical therapy, as well as pain and anti-inflammatory medication.
The study found that individuals in the group receiving acupuncture experienced significant reductions in pain and dysfunction when compared with individuals receiving standard care. Individuals in the acupuncture group also reported significant improvement in xerostomia, a condition in which patients receiving adjuvant radiation therapy experience extreme dry mouth.
In the study [PubMed Abstract], published in the February 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, 50 women with hormone-receptor positive breast cancer were assigned into one of two groups. The first group received 12 weeks of acupuncture, and the second group received treatment with Effexorvenlafaxine.
Both groups experienced significant decreases in hot flashes, depressive symptoms, and other quality-of-life symptoms. However, women in the group taking Effexorvenlafaxine began to re-experience their symptoms about two weeks after stopping drug therapy. In comparison, it took 15 weeks for the symptoms to return for women in the group receiving acupuncture. In addition, women in the acupuncture group reported no significant side effects during treatment, while the group taking Effexorvenlafaxine experienced 18 incidences of adverse effects, including nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, and anxiety.
Electroacupuncture for fatigue, sleep, and psychological distress in breast cancer patients with aromatase inhibitor-related arthralgia: a randomized trial.
One study in 2014 [PubMed Abstract] conducted a randomized controlled trial of an 8-week course of EA compared with a waitlist control (WLC) group and a sham acupuncture (SA) group in postmenopausal women with breast cancer who self-reported joint pain attributable to AIs. The researchers concluded that compared with usual care, EA produced significant improvements in fatigue, anxiety, and depression; whereas SA improved only depression in women experiencing AI-related arthralgia.
Herbal medicine for depression and anxiety: A systematic review with assessment of potential psycho-oncologic relevance.
Phytother Res. 2018 May;32(5):865-891.
Researchers identified single-herb medicines that may warrant further study in cancer patients. Search included PubMed, Allied and Complementary Medicine, Embase, and Cochrane databases, selecting only single-herb randomized controlled trials between 1996 and 2016 in any population for data extraction, excluding herbs with known potential for interactions with cancer treatments. One hundred articles involving 38 botanicals met our criteria.
Overall, 45% of studies reported positive findings with fewer adverse effects compared with conventional medications. Based on available data, black cohosh, chamomile, chasteberry, lavender, passionflower, and saffron appear useful in mitigating anxiety or depression with favorable risk-benefit profiles compared to standard treatments. These may benefit cancer patients by minimizing medication load and accompanying side effects. However, well-designed larger clinical trials are needed before these herbs can be recommended and to further assess their psycho-oncologic relevance.