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Acupuncture (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Health Professional Information [NCI] - General Information

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Although several studies published in China examined the effect of acupuncture on the human immune system,[8,30,33,39,40,41,42] most cancer-related human clinical studies of acupuncture evaluated its effect on patient quality of life. These investigations mainly focused on cancer symptoms or cancer treatment–related symptoms, predominantly cancer pain [10,24,43,44,45,46,47] and chemotherapy-induced N/V.[26,28,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,56] Studies have also been done on the effect of acupuncture on radiation -induced xerostomia (dry mouth), proctitis, dysphonia, weight loss, cough, thoracodynia, hemoptysis, fever, esophageal obstruction, poor appetite, night sweats, hot flashes in women and men,[57] dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, and depression in cancer patients.[8,9,10,58,59,60,61] The evidence from most of these clinical studies is inconclusive, despite their positive results; either poor research design or incompletely described methodologic procedures limit their value. There is controversy about the most appropriate control for acupuncture, which also limits the interpretability of the results of clinical trials.[62] The positive results of the studies on chemotherapy-induced N/V, which benefit from scientifically sound research designs, are the most convincing.

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Last Updated: February 25, 2014
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