Among all the alternative medicine approaches, acupuncture is one of the most widely accepted by the medical community, and finds himself increasingly integrated into Western health care. Scientific research over recent years and the development of new medical imaging technologies have done much to demystify acupuncture and facilitate its acceptance the medical field. Several countries including the United States and Australia have begun to integrate acupuncturists in their medical teams. Areas where acupuncture has proved particularly effective in complement to conventional interventions are the treatment of pain, the treatment of addictions, obstetrics, and oncology.

In oncology (study and treatment of cancers), acupuncture and Chinese medicine are very useful to treat the side effects of conventional cancer treatments. A study by the MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas and Shanghai Fudan University Cancer Center has shown that acupuncture can not only treat but also prevent, dry mouth (xerostomia) caused by radiotherapy for treatment of throat cancers. Currently, there is no other treatment that provides satisfactory results for this condition.
Dry throat after radiotherapy significantly decreases quality of life for patients. They have difficulty eating, speaking, and even sleeping, while the risks of oral infections are increased. The study mentioned above showed a significant decrease in the incidence and severity of xerostomia. By the third week of radiotherapy treatment, the difference between the test group and control group was obvious. The results remained positive throughout the follow-up period (6 months).
Acupuncture is not only effective for dry throat resulting from radiotherapy. It helps relieve many symptoms and discomfort related with radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery. The effect of Chinese herbs to relieve the side effects of cancer treatments has also been studied and formulas are designed to treat these side effects.
To see what acupuncture and Chinese medicine can do to help you get through your cancer treatment,contact one of the acupuncturists or practitioners of Chinese medicine at Althea Clinic, or make an appointment by phone or directly online.


Article on Natural Health Care Canada
Report from Radio-Canada (French)
Report from the National Cancer Institute