Reduce the pain and, consequently, the use of analgesics due to acupuncture and acupressure. It's a chance to consider how the emergence of a recent meta-analysis Jama Oncology. In particular, two studies have shown a reduction of 30 milligrams equivalent of oral morphine in the average daily dose of opioid in the patients who received acupuncture or acupressure compared to controls. The reduction of the pain with the acupuncture meta-analysis Jama examined seven randomized trials comparing acupuncture with placebo and showing a consistent benefit in favor of the first in the control of the intensity of the pain according to a scale incrementally from 0 to 10. “In fact, the two studies that measured the dose of opioids have highlighted, in favour of the acupuncture treatment, a reduction of the daily dose of morphine,” says Maximum Height
, the national secretary of the Aiom and director of the Oncology of the Ospedale Mauriziano of Turin. “This is interesting, because opioids, which are drugs fundamental and valuable in pain control, they do have some side effects: if you can control the pain by reducing the dose of opioid, this may represent an advantage in terms of toxicity, and therefore the quality of life of patients.” Acupuncture is also effective in association, it is Interesting the data that documents a reduction of pain when the acupuncture was associated with (not replaced!) to pharmacological therapy. “Of course, emphasises Di Maio emphasized that the reduction of pain, and on average, it is not “miraculous”, and that the meta-analysis shows a certain degree of heterogeneity between studies. In short, there is need to deepen still the topic, to better understand who truly benefits from the technique, and why”. The techniques are complementary but not alternatives to the drugs by Taking into account this meta-analysis and other studies, what can you conclude about the cancer patient? Acupuncture and acupressure can be complementary ways to hold off the pain? “In my opinion, is the answer Of Maio - the main message of this work is the invitation to the oncology community not to be biased against complementary therapies, which are something very different from alternative therapies”. Of the rest, even the American Society of Clinical Oncology (Asco) a few months ago, has dedicated a “Daily news” on its website, at acupuncture in the treatment of cancer pain. The article of the scientific society american stresses that has just the right look with interest in complementary techniques for the treatment of symptoms in cancer patients. “It must be remembered that the technique should be entrusted to experienced operators and it is appropriate to emphasize with patients that it is a technique complementary, and not alternative, compared to pharmacological treatments,” adds the oncologist. Still few research on complementary therapies If in the United States, Asco is devoting attention to the acupuncture, in Italy there are still few studies conducted to evaluate the efficacy of these therapies in cancer pain. In the past few years at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan have been made of studies on the use of acupuncture to promote the reduction of post-operative pain of patients with lung cancer, or of patients with breast cancer. “Research on complementary therapies and, more in general, the research on the therapy of support - stresses Of Maio - suffers, compared to the research on anticancer therapies real, less attention, less funding, and often even less attention and appeal from the part of us oncologists. We are all excited to participate in a study with a new promising drug for activity against a certain cancer, but maybe the enthusiasm is lower if there is proposed a study on a therapy against pain, or against a symptom of disease or toxicity of treatment.” Where to try acupuncture in oncology For patients who want to try, there are cancer centers that offer this type of complementary therapy? “Like many oncologists, is the answer Of Maio - I assume is still little to complementary therapies, even in cases where there are interesting demonstrations of efficacy in relation to pain or other symptoms. If a patient tomorrow morning and asked me who to go to for acupuncture, I confess that I would have difficulty to give precise directions. I plan to study the topic, to provide more accurate information to patients. In Italy, however, there are also centers that offer outpatient clinics of acupuncture or other complementary therapies, but not in a homogeneous manner”.
According to the census of the european Joint Act EPAAC in Italy were localized, 24, 47 european, and provide services of integrated oncology. The USL of Modena, for example, adheres to the project of Integrated Medicine in Oncology in the Region of Emilia-Romagna (Mediorer), with the opening of a clinic of integrated medicine at the Operative Unit of Medical Oncology of the Ospedale Ramazzini, Carpi. The clinic offers a service of acupuncture, free of charge, dedicated to the women with a diagnosis of breast cancer who suffer hot flushes and night sweats and have age not exceeding 65 years. Are scheduled 10 sessions of acupuncture weekly for 12 weeks, held by a licensed acupuncturist
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