Acupuncture and Breast Cancer Awareness

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By now everyone knows what the pink ribbon signifies.  According to the latest statistics, about 1 in 8 U.S. women, that’s 12%, will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.  If you are reading this, that means you probably know someone, whether a friend, family member or partner, that will be impacted by breast cancer.  The good news is that increased awareness has led to earlier detection through screening, more funding for research, and treatment advances resulting in better outcomes.  In numerous publications, including the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA- 2000 study), and university studies by Duke and Memorial Sloan – Kettering, acupuncture has been shown to be a valuable addition to treatment in:

  • Helping to relieve fatigue
  • Controlling hot flashes
  • Decreasing nausea
  • Reducing vomiting
  • Lessening pain

Another study completed in 2002 at Duke University, compared the use of acupuncture to the use of Zofran to reduce nausea. The acupuncture treatment was found to work better than Zofran. Acupuncture is the use of sterile, hair thin needles that are inserted into specific points on the skin, where they stimulate the nervous system in order to release natural pain killer and immune system cells. It is well established that acupuncture is helpful to lessen some of the side effects of cancer treatment. Pain is one of the most common, burdensome and feared symptoms experienced by breast cancer patients that Acupuncture and oriental medicine helps with. Some common breast cancer medications can also trigger joint pain and new research shows how Acupuncture treatments can ease that side effect. The new research was led by Dr.Dawn Hershman, who heads the Breast Cancer Program at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in NY.

The use of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine allows patients to thrive during treatment, feel stronger, recover faster and embrace life after breast cancer.  Within our scope of treatment, we use acupuncture, physical medicine as well as herbal medicine to achieve these goals. 

We have several Chinese formulas that have been shown to improve immune status in immunocompromised breast cancer patients following standard primary oncologic treatment. The effects of Acupuncture can feel different from person to person…you may feel relaxed or energized right after the treatment. 


Come in and visit 5 Element Wellness Center and let our skilled staff work with you through your treatment and alleviate your healing process in your journey into wellness.

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