Breast Cancer, Exercise and Acupuncture

0070-Breast Cancer, Exercise and Acupuncture

Breast Cancer, Exercise and Acupuncture
Exercise therapy and acupuncture may help breast cancer survivors struggling with pain, swelling and issues related to body image. Two new studies looked at alternative therapies for these common symptoms among survivors. The first included 84 breast cancer patients who had completed all curative treatments except for on-going hormonal therapies. Arm dimension and volume, muscle strength and body image were assessed at the start. All of the participants were then enrolled in a special exercise program for breast cancer survivors. After 12 months, measurements were taken again from 67 survivors. The overall results: reduced symptoms of lymphedema, improvements in upper and lower body strength and improvements in body image. The second study looked at the use of acupuncture to relieve joint pain. 67 breast cancer patients were randomly assigned to receive either real acupuncture or sham acupuncture between September 2009 and May 2012. Each participant received 10 treatments. The data showed that real acupuncture helped reduce joint pain, whether the patient expected the treatment to work or not. Sham acupuncture also helped lessen pain, but this was seen among those who had high expectations that the therapy would work.