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Acupuncture Today
April, 2003, Vol. 04, Issue 04
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Acupuncture and Cancer Patients

By Editorial Staff

"Another potential role of acupuncture in patients with cancer is the palliation of chronic pain. Several case reports and series suggest that acupuncture may provide relief when conventional measures fail to control chronic pain resulting from underlying disease or conventional treatments (surgery or radiation).

However, RCTs are needed to confirm the value of acupuncture in the management of chronic cancer-related pain.

"... In summary, RCTs to date, although limited in size, suggest that it is certainly reasonable to accept the use of acupuncture in conjunction with standard antiemetics to control chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting and that recommendation for this purpose might be considered. Fewer data are available on the use of acupuncture in palliation of chronic cancer-related pain, but it seems reasonable to accept this approach if patients elect to try it.


  • Weiger W, Smith M, Boon H, et al. Advising patients who seek complementary and alternative therapies for cancer. Annals of Internal Medicine 2002;137:899-903.


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