Oncology Central

Acupuncture for the management of cancer-related pain?


The treatment and relief of cancer pain represents a challenge to healthcare professionals. Up to 70% of patients with advanced stage cancer suffer from pain for which they receive inadequate pain relief and this in turn leads to impaired physical and psychological wellbeing, resulting in a poorer quality of life [1]. Pain experienced by patients with cancer may be due to pre-existing pathologies, progression of the disease, tumour growth, bone metastases or the treatment of cancer itself. Strong opioids are commonly used to treat cancer-related pain but they may cause undesirable side-effects such as sedation, constipation and nausea which further reduces the quality of life [2]. Consequently, healthcare professionals and patients have sought nonpharmacological treatments to use on their own or in combination with drug therapies to alleviate cancer-related pain.

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