Acupuncture benefits breast cancer survivors

Acupuncture can improve quality of life of breast cancer survivors by alleviating cancer-related fatigue, sleep disturbance and depression. In a study conducted in China, 136 breast cancer survivors with cancer-related fatigue were randomly divided into two groups: an acupuncture group and a control group.

Patients in the acupuncture group received acupuncture at specific acupoints, including Baihui DU-20, Yintang M-HN-3, Taichong LIV-3, Hegu L.I.-4, Zusanli ST-36, Sanyinjiao SP-6 and Shenmen HE-7. The sessions lasted for 30 minutes, once per day, five times a week over four consecutive weeks. Both groups received psychological, health, and exercise guidance, along with nutritional support. Additionally, all patients received an intravenous injection of a herbal medicine, Shen Qi Fu Zheng, five times per week over four consecutive weeks. After treatment, both groups showed significant improvements in fatigue, sleep quality, depression and everyday functioning. However, the improvements were more significant in the acupuncture group. Levels of serum ghrelin, gastric inhibitory polypeptide, leptin, and insulin were found to have significantly decreased in both groups post-treatment, indicating better metabolic regulation.

Effects of Mind-Regulation Acupuncture Therapy on Serum Ghrelin, Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide, Leptin, and Insulin Levels in Breast Cancer Survivors with Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Int J Gen Med. 2023 Mar 21;16:1017-1027.