Hot Flashes from Prostate Cancer Treatment Relieved by Acupuncture

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A study published in the April issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology-Biology-Physics concluded that acupuncture provides long-lasting relief for hot flashes, heart palpitation, and anxiety that are common side effects of hormonal therapy commonly used for prostate cancer. Hormonal therapy to reduce the level of testosterone in the body or surgery are the two most used treatments for prostate cancer. Because it is known that testosterone induces prostate cancer, reducing this hormone in treatment has been shown to keep the cancer in check by starving the cancer cells of the hormone it needs to grow and spread. However, the therapy produces hot flashes as one side effect.
In a prospective study 14 men experiencing hot flashes due to hormone therapy were evaluated. Upon enrollment they were given a hot flash score (HFS) evaluating their daily hot flashes and the mean score was 28.3. Subjects then received acupuncture twice weekly for 30 minutes for 4 weeks. After two weeks the HFS was remeasured and had dropped over a half to 10.3. Six weeks following treatment their HFS had dropped to 7.5. Further research is planned. More information is available at: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/asfr-arh042111.php

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