Acupuncture treatment for hot flushes in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Background: The group of women and men with a history of cancer and distressing hot flushes and sweating is growing. The flushes negatively affect Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL), perhaps partially by disturbing sleep. Treatments that are effective, tolerable and safe need to be developed. There are a number of treatment alternatives that are often not very effective or associated with more or less serious side-effects. Based on theories on the mechanisms behind hot flushes and acupuncture, treatment with acupuncture has been tried in menopausal women with hot flushes and in a few studies in women with breast cancer (BCa).
Aim: The general aim of the research leading to this thesis was to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on hot flushes, HRQoL and sleep in men with prostate cancer (PCa) and women with BCa. To evaluate the effect in women with BCa of 12 weeks of electrostimulated acupuncture (EA) and two years of hormone therapy (HT) on number of, and distress caused by, hot flushes, and on HRQoL and sleep. To evaluate whether acupuncture therapy could be used to treat hot flushes in men with PCa treated with castration therapy, and then to evaluate in men with PCa and hot flushes the effect of 12 weeks of traditional acupuncture (TA) or EA on number of, and distress caused by, hot flushes and on urinary excretion of CGRP, HRQoL and sleep.
Subjects and methods: Forty-five women with a history of BCa were randomized to oral HT for two years or EA for 12 weeks and were followed up till two years after start of therapy. Thirty-eight men with PCa and hot flushes were treated with acupuncture. Seven men were treated with EA for 10 to 12 weeks in a pilot study. After positive results from this study 31 men were randomized between EA and TA for 12 weeks and followed up till nine months after end of treatment. Hot flushes, HRQoL and sleep were monitored by means of log books and validated questionnaires.
Results: The pilot study showed that 10 to 12 weeks of EA in men with PCa reduced number of hot flushes to below 50% of baseline with persistent effects at a follow up three months later. The two randomized studies showed that treatment with acupuncture in women with a history of BCa, and men with PCa was associated with a decrease in both the number of and distress caused by hot flushes by at least 50%. HT almost eliminated the hot flushes. There was no difference in reduction of hot flushes between men receiving EA or TA. Reduction of the number of hot flushes and distress caused by hot flushes probably leads to decreased disturbances at night, and was associated in women with a significant improvement in HRQoL and sleep variables. The improvement in HRQoL was as great in women treated with EA as in women receiving HT although the latter group had a more substantial reduction in number of flushes than the EA group suggesting that EA might have other effects in addition to those on hot flushes. In the men HRQoL did not change significantly. We saw very few and non-serious side-effects in the acupuncture groups and no signs that acupuncture activated the cancer or ovarian/testicular function.
Conclusions: Acupuncture reduced the number of hot flushes and distress caused by hot flushes with at least 50% in women and men with hot flushes and a cancer disease and also improved HRQoL and sleep at least in women. Acupuncture should be further evaluated in these patient groups and could be a treatment alternative in patients with troublesome symptoms.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2011. , 110 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1245
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-68806ISBN: 978-91-7393-180-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-68806DiVA: diva2:421125
2011-06-10, Berzeliussalen, Hälsouniversitetet, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Bergkvist, Leif, Professor
Hammar, Mats, ProfessorHjertberg, Hans, Dr.Spetz, Anna-Clara, Dr.
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