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Acupuncture and Mesothelioma Treatment

Acupuncture is a used to control pain including cancer pain. It may help relieve mesothelioma patients’ symptoms such as nausea and vomiting caused by treatment. Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years as part of traditional Chinese medicine.

In Western medicine, acupuncture may serve as a type of complementary therapy in addition to conventional cancer treatment.

Acupuncture To Manage Pain, Nausea From Mesothelioma Treatment

Acupuncturists apply very thin needles, pressure and heat to certain strategic points to stimulate the body’s nerves and muscles. In response to acupuncture, the body may release proteins, hormones and brain chemicals that appear to boost the immune system and reduce pain. While people suffering from many illnesses undergo acupuncture, it is primarily used to control pain.

The National Institutes of Health began evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture as a complementary and alternative therapy in 1997. According to the National Cancer Institute, the strongest evidence of the benefits of acupuncture has come from clinical trials studying the use of acupuncture to relieve nausea and vomiting. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments, which are standard treatments for mesothelioma, weaken the body’s immune system.

Some studies suggest that acupuncture may strengthen the immune system during chemotherapy. Nausea is a common side effect of chemotherapy which uses powerful drugs such as pemetrexed and cisplatin to kill mesothelioma cells in your body.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the risks of acupuncture are generally low if you have an experienced, certified acupuncture therapist. The side effects may include soreness or bruising at the needle sites or organ injury if needles are pushed in too deeply. Organ punctures are a rare complication with a skilled acupuncturist. Your risks of bleeding may increase if you are taking blood thinners. Not all patients are good candidates for acupuncture.

If you are undergoing treatment for mesothelioma and you’re considering complementary therapies such as acupuncture, talk to your doctor about which complementary treatments would be most beneficial. Not all patients’ symptoms respond to acupuncture. If your symptoms don’t start to improve within a few weeks, acupuncture may not be beneficial to you.

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