How Efficacious Is Acupuncture?

Last Modified: July 15, 2011

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OncoLink Cancer FAQ

What sort of efficacy have you seen with acupuncture in helping to alleviate chemo and radiation symptoms like nausea and fatigue?

OncoLink Cancer FAQ

Jun Mao, MD, MSCE, Family Medicine and Community Health Physician and Acupuncturist at PENN Medicine, responds:

One trial found that acupuncture reduced persistent chemotherapy-related fatigue by about 40%. Another randomized trial found that acupressure (self-massage on acupuncture points) are also effective in reducing fatigue related to cancer treatments. In my clinical experience, there is a need for integrating acupuncture with gradual increase in exercise for the best short and long term outcomes related to fatigue related to chemotherapy or radiation.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See full archive of IntegrativeTherapies in Cancer Care.

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