Through the years, cancer has earned a great deal of reputation as one of the emerging causes of death worldwide. Through the long years of conducting extensive scientific research, lots of treatment options for cancer have emerged. However, despite the availability of modern treatment methods, acupuncture has managed to be one of the most widely used alternative treatment options for this life-threatening disease.
Cancer And Its Nature
Cancer is a class of serious diseases which is primarily characterized by abnormal cell growth and division. It is classified according to the type of cell which initially affects the organ. To date, over 100 types of cancer have already been diagnosed. The most common types of cancer include endometrial, colon and rectal, lung, bladder, breast, leukemia, melanoma, non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and renal cancer.
It becomes life-threatening when the damaged cells begin to divide in an abnormally and uncontrollably manner which leads to the formation of masses or lumps commonly known as tumours. When these lumps grow, it can negatively affect the functions of the digestive, respiratory, circulatory and nervous systems.
Cancer symptoms usually vary depending on the location of the cancer. Fatigue, fever, anemia, excessive sweating and unexplained weight loss are some of the most common symptoms of cancer. When the cancer cells have spread to the brain, patients usually suffer from headaches, seizures and vertigo. On the hand, when it spreads to the lung, patients normally experience shortness of breath and coughing. When the liver is affected, jaundice which is normally accompanied by brittle, breakable and painful bones are more likely to be experienced.
Through the years, extensive studies were conducted to determine the nature of cancer, how it develops and how it can be prevented. Most people succumb to cancer medications, treatments and therapies in order to survive. In most cases, cancer patients observe a healthier and more conducive lifestyle in order to overcome cancer.
Treatments actually vary according to the stage of the cancer, type of cancer as well as the age and health condition of the patient. Modern treatments for cancer include radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, gene therapy and immunotherapy.
While other people succumb to modern treatments, some patients make use of alternative and traditional treatment methods in dealing with cancer. Acupuncture is actually one of the most common alternative treatments for cancer. Research shows that acupuncture can help cancer patients in improving their condition. What is the truth behind this claim?
How Acupuncture Helps Cancer Patients
Many oncologists nowadays recommend acupuncture to their patients in managing cancer symptoms as well as the symptoms associated with cancer treatments. Researchers claim that acupuncture helps cancer patients in managing pain, nausea, vomiting, dry and painful mouth and throat, as well as hot flushes.
Acupuncture reduces the severity of cancer treatment related symptoms which include pain, swelling and inflammation thereby resulting to a reduced medication for pain. When the sensory neurons and muscles are stimulated, they send signal to the central nervous system to release endorphins which serve as the body’s natural painkillers.
As many people would know, chemotherapy is usually followed by intense vomiting and nausea. Acupuncture can help in reducing the frequency and intensity of nausea, vomiting as well as hot flushes in women with breast cancer.
Dry, painful throat and mouth can also be expected when undergoing cancer treatments due to reduced production of saliva. According to research, acupuncture can help in reducing the impact of these side effects thereby allowing the patient to eat, drink and swallow normally. Acupuncture is also beneficial in treating a number of cancer related symptoms which include chest pain, bone pain, dizziness, weight loss, diarrhea, cough, loss of appetite, anxiety, fatigue and depression.
By reducing the intensity and frequency of occurrence of these symptoms, acupuncture is able to provide cancer patients with adequate amount of high quality sleep. In the long run, this results to improved quality of life.
What Cancer Patients Have To Say About Acupuncture
There is no existing evidence that acupuncture has the capacity to treat or cure cancer. Most researches suggest that acupuncture can only help in relieving the symptoms of this life-threatening disease.
In most cases, acupuncture is used by cancer patients to relieve nausea which is often caused by chemotherapy. Aside from reducing the occurrence and intensity of hot flashes, acupuncture is also beneficial in helping the patients feel more relaxed. Also, it improves the overall health being of cancer patients.