A study presented at this year’s Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium has provided invaluable information for mesothelioma patients about a readily accessible route to pain and symptom relief. According to a study, cancer patients of all types were able to realize dramatic improvements in their overall sense of wellbeing following acupuncture treatments.
The study did not focus specifically on malignant mesothelioma patients, as participants included patients suffering from a range of types of cancer, including several thoracic cancers. The researchers were from University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas studied 375 different patients who received acupuncture treatments at a comprehensive cancer center’s outpatient integrative medicine clinic. Each patient was asked to answer survey questions before and after their treatment about how they felt. They reported overall improvements from the very first treatment, with the greatest reduction in symptoms being seen in the frequency of hot flashes. Other notable relief was seen in their levels of nausea, numbness and tingling, and fatigue.
Acupuncture has long been thought to be helpful for those with malignant mesothelioma. It is a recognized and much-studied part of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been gaining increased respect among traditional practitioners as a complementary therapy. The philosophy behind acupuncture is that it provides a balance between life force or energy – called qi – and that the use of very thin needles inserted at pressure points along the qi’s paths (or meridians) helps to correct the flow of that energy when cancer has interrupted or changed it.
The most positive and encouraging sign that acupuncture may provide real help for mesothelioma patients was seen in the fact that most patients who were involved in the study pursued a minimum of one additional follow-up treatment after their first time, and the symptoms that patients noted the greatest improvements in included spiritual pain, nausea, dry mouth and sleep quality.
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important to stay up to date on research into quality of life and symptom improvement. For more helpful information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.