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Acupuncture in Toowoomba for Management of Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment

Numerous types of cancers exist, and each type of cancer is specific to a site or organ. Consequently, for example, breast cancer treatment is handled differently than prostate cancer treatment. Breast cancer may require chemotherapy, for example using tamoxifen, and unfortunately, chemotherapy agents can result in unpleasant side-effects including hot flushes, night sweats and fatigue. 

Almost 70 % of all cancer patients include alternative natural treatment in their battle against cancers. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and conventional western medicine work very well when combined. Acupuncture treatment is a powerful partner in the management of chemotherapy treatment side-effects. Acupuncture does not promise a “cure” for breast cancer. However, in many cases acupuncture increases the survival-rate while relieving many of the side-effects related to the chemotherapy treatment of breast cancer, including hot flushes, night sweats fatigue.

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Acupuncture for Hot Flushes in Breast Cancer

Acupuncture treatment can alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy. Remember “Cancer” is a word, and NOT a sentence! Traditional acupuncture (TA) can reduce the frequency of hot flushes and night sweats (HF&NS), and improve physical and emotional well-being in women taking tamoxifen for breast cancer. In a single-arm observational study 50 participants with early breast cancer received eight weekly, individualised TA treatments using a core standardised acupuncture protocol developed to treat HF&NS in natural menopause. Mean frequency of HF&NS was reduced by 49.8% at end of treatment (EOT) compared with baseline. Perceptions of HF&NS as a problem reduced by 2.2 points, indicating that participants found their HF&NS significantly less bothersome following treatment. Seven health domains showed significant statistical and clinical improvements, including anxiety/fear, memory/concentration, menstrual problems, sexual behaviour, sleep problems, somatic symptoms and vasomotor symptoms. (Using traditional acupuncture for breast cancer-related hot flashes and night sweats.

REFERENCE: J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Oct;16(10):1047-57.

Acupuncture Improves Physical and Emotional Well-being for Women Receiving Breast Breast-Cancer-Treatment-in-Toowoomba-with-Acupuncture.Cancer Treatment

In another study, the same authors evaluated the feasibility of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) five-point ear acupuncture protocol to reduce HF&NS and improve physical and emotional well-being for women receiving breast cancer treatment. Fifty participants completed weekly NADA treatment for eight weeks in small groups (less than five patients). Mean HF&NS frequency was reduced by 35.9%, perceptions of HF&NS as a problem were reduced by 2.2 points, and statistical and clinical improvements were recorded for anxiety/fears, depressed mood, memory/concentration, sleep problems, somatic symptoms and vasomotor symptoms.

REFERENCE: NADA Ear Acupuncture for Breast Cancer Treatment–Related Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: An Observational Study. Medical Acupuncture. December 2012, 24(4): 256-268.

Acupuncture Helps with Breast Cancer Fatigue

A study by UK researchers has found acupuncture to be effective at managing cancer-related fatigue (CRF). Three hundred and two breast cancer patients participated in a pragmatic, randomised controlled trial that compared acupuncture with enhanced usual care. Acupuncture treatment was given once a week for six weeks using three pairs of points (Zusanli ST-36, Sanyinjiao SP-6 and Hegu L.I.-4). The enhanced usual care group received usual care plus a booklet with information about fatigue management. Those who received acupuncture showed significant improvements in overall fatigue, physical and mental fatigue, activity, motivation, psychological distress and quality of life. The authors speculate that the benefits of acupuncture in treating fatigue may be in part mediated by its effect on pro-inflammatory cytokines.
REFERENCE: Acupuncture for Cancer-Related Fatigue in Patients With Breast Cancer: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print].

Vitamin D3 Might Be Able to Slash Your Breast Cancer Risk by 90 Percent

SUMMARY: An optimal vitamin D level is critically important in minimizing your cancer risk; a study of menopausal women showed that maintaining vitamin D serum levels of 40ng/ml cut overall cancer risk by 77 percent. GrassrootsHealth founder Carole Baggerly believes 90 percent of ordinary breast cancer is related to vitamin D deficiency; in fact, breast cancer has been described as a “vitamin D deficiency syndrome”. Vitamin D can stop breast cancer cells from spreading by replenishing E-cadherin, one of the glue-like components giving structure to those cells. In addition to being a strong cancer preventative, vitamin D is crucial for pregnant women and their babies, lowering risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, and C-section; 80 percent of pregnant women have inadequate vitamin D levels. The most important factor is having your vitamin D serum level tested every 6 months, as people vary widely in their response to ultraviolet exposure or oral supplementation; your serum level should be kept between 50 and 70 ng/ml for optimal health

 Modest Vitamin D3 Levels May Decrease Your Risk of ALL Cancer by 77 Percent

Vitamin D has shown preventative benefits for many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, and can even reduce chronic pain1. But when it comes to cancer, vitamin D is its worst enemy! Theories linking vitamin D deficiency to cancer have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies.

One particularly noteworthy study was completed by Joan Lappe and Robert Heaney in 20072. A group of menopausal women were given enough vitamin D to raise their serum levels to 40 ng/ml.

These women experienced a 77 percent reduction in the incidence of all cancers, across the board, after just four years3. The remarkable thing is, 40 ng/ml is a relatively modest level. The latest information suggests the serum level “sweet spot” for vitamin D is 50 to 70 ng/ml. To have such stunning findings at just 40 ng/ml underscores just how powerful and important vitamin D is to your body’s optimal functioning.

Could Breast Cancer Be 90 Percent Preventable, Just with Vitamin D3?

Breast-Cancer-Treatment-in-Toowoomba-with-Acupuncture-03Vitamin D has powerful effects when it comes to breast cancer, to the degree that breast cancer is being described as a “vitamin D deficiency syndrome.” Of course, other lifestyle factors are also important in preventing cancer, such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, and managing stress. However, vitamin D’s critical importance seems to grow with every emerging study.

Carole believes that 90 percent of ordinary breast cancer is related to vitamin D deficiency — which is 100 percent preventable!

This is absolutely a profoundly important statement. As breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, this has massive implications for women’s health. For more information about breast cancer, I invite you to watch my informational video on the subject. Please be aware though that she is referring to more common types of breast cancer as opposed to inflammatory breast cancer and some of the other unique forms.

Vitamin D3 Can Make Breast Cancer Cells Fall Apart

Dr. Cedric F. Garland of the University of California’s San Diego Moores Cancer Center is the epidemiologist who has connected the dots between Vitamin D deficiency and cancer. According to Garland, in nearly all forms of breast cancer, vitamin D affects the structure of your epithelial cells. These cells are held together by a glue-like substance called E-cadherin, which provides structure to the cell. E-cadherin is made up of mostly vitamin D and calcium.

If you don’t have adequate vitamin D, that structure comes apart and those cells do what they are programmed to do in order to survive — they go forth and multiply. If this growth process (cell proliferation) gets out of control, you may end up with cancer.

If you have breast cancer in progress, the addition of vitamin D can help stop cancer cells in their tracks by replenishing E-cadherin. Once cancer growth is slowed, your immune system can begin to get ahead of the cancer cells, because it doesn’t have to deal with gazillions of them. It’s just disposing of the “leftovers.” The theory above is Dr. Garland’s DINOMIT theory and has been substantiated by subsequent studies by other researchers.

It’s ALL About Your Vitamin D3 Blood Level

The most important factor is your vitamin D serum level. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend in the sun, or how much vitamin D3 you take: if your serum level is low, then you’re at risk, plain and simple. And the only way to know your serum level is to test it. As of the present time, we don’t understand why people differ so widely in their serum responses to vitamin D supplementation. Until science figures this out, the only way to determine your serum level is by testing your blood on a regular basis.

Fortunately, all of the major labs have updated their vitamin D testing protocols, so it no longer matters which lab you use. It’s recommended you check your level every three to six months, because it takes at least three months for it to stabilize after a change in sun exposure or supplement dose.

The window you’re shooting for is 50 to 70ng/ml. More studies are needed to tease out the benefits of getting your serum level above 50, and 60, and 70 — in terms of what specific benefits occur at each increment. Above 20, you’re safe from rickets. Above 30, your gums will be healthy. Above 40, you receive great cancer benefits. But there may very well be reasons to push your level even higher — we just don’t have this information available yet. Science progresses slowly, and researchers are very cautious. For an interesting chart that shows disease prevention by serum vitamin D level, based on the research to date, visit this page on the GrassrootsHealth site.

It is Actually Difficult to Get Toxic

The best way to optimize your vitamin D level is through sun exposure or a safe tanning bed as that virtually eliminates any risk of overdose. As a very general guide, you need to expose about 40 percent of your entire body to the sun for approximately 20 minutes between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, when the sun is at its zenith. There appears to be no risk of vitamin D toxicity from ultraviolet B exposure.

If you’re using an oral supplement, recent studies suggest adults need about 8,000 IU’s of oral vitamin D3 per day in order to get serum levels above 40 ng/ml. However, remember that if you take oral vitamin D, you also need to boost your vitamin K2, either through your food choices or a supplement. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries. In general, however, taking vitamin D3 is very safe. Even the conservative Institute of Medicine has concluded that taking up to 10,000 IU per day poses no risk for adverse effects.

The ideal or optimal ratio between vitamin D and vitamin K2 has yet to be elucidated, so there’s little to go on in this regard. Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life, suggests 150-200 micrograms of K2 per day will meet the vitamin K2 needs of the “average” healthy person, if you’re not taking a vitamin D supplement. Keep in mind that some of that can come from your diet, such as fermented vegetables. If you take a vitamin D supplement, you may need to increase your vitamin K2 some more.

Your health insurance may very well pay for vitamin D testing. If not, there is a wonderful program you can participate in through the mail, developed by GrassrootsHealth, called D*Action Project. For more information on how to participate, read on.


If you or a loved-one live in SE Queensland, Australia, and would like more information, or require acupuncture treatment to alleviate the side-effects of chemotherapy, or radiation therapy please call us on (07) 4636 6100.


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