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Reducing Cancer Pain Via Acupuncture

Chronic Musculoskeletal Cancer Pain Therapy

Cancer leads to chronic pain for 5 million cancer survivors, and that pain is frequently treated with medication. However, acupuncture treatments may work better, and with fewer potential side effects. An article in JAMA Oncology reports a review of two types of acupuncture: electroacupuncture (acupuncture with an electrical current) and auricular acupuncture (inserted ear studs). The PEACE trial, for Personalized Electroacupuncture vs Auricular Acupuncture Comparativeness Effectiveness, involved 360 adults with prior but no current disease, with musculoskeletal pain for 3 or more months.

Acupuncture was compared to a standard pain management protocol that included analgesic medications, physical therapy, and glucocorticoid injections. The study concluded that "...electroacupuncture and auricular acupuncture effectively reduced the severity of chronic musculoskeletal pain in a diverse population of cancer survivors compared with usual care. However, auricular acupuncture had higher treatment discontinuation rates than electroacupuncture and did not demonstrate noninferiority to electroacupuncture."

 

Read the journal article.

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