Zhu H; Li J; Peng Z; Huang Y; Lv X; Song L; Zhou G; Lin S; Chen J; He B; Qin F; Liu X; Dai M; Zou Y; Dai S.
Effectiveness of acupuncture for breast cancer related lymphedema: protocol for a single-blind, sham-controlled, randomized, multicenter trial.
BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 17(1):467, 2017 Sep 21.
BACKGROUND: Although various treatments for breast cancer related lymphedema exist, there is still a need for a more effective and convenient approach. Pilot studies and our clinical observations suggested that acupuncture may be a potential option. This study aims to verify the effectiveness of acupuncture on BCRL and evaluate its safety using a rigorously designed trial.
METHODS/DESIGN: Women who are clinically diagnosed as unilateral BCRL, with a 10% to 40% increase in volume compared to the unaffected arm, will be recruited. Following baseline assessment, participants will be randomized to either the real acupuncture group or sham-acupuncture group at a ratio of 1:1, and given a standard real acupuncture or sham-acupuncture treatment accordingly on both arms followed by the same usual care of decongestive therapy. Volume measurements of both arms will be performed for every participant after each treatment. Data collected at baseline and the last session will be used to calculate the primary outcome and secondary outcomes. Other data will be exploited for interim analyses and trial monitoring. The primary outcome is the absolute reduced limb volume ratio. Secondary outcomes are incidence of adverse events and change in quality of life. A t test or non-parameter test will be used to compare the difference between two groups, and assess the overall effectiveness of acupuncture using the SPSS software (version 12).
DISCUSSION: This study will help expand our knowledge about the effectiveness of acupuncture on BCRL, and how acupuncture might be used in the management of this condition. Acupuncture may be a promising complement or alternative to conventional lymphedema treatment methods, if its effectiveness is confirmed.
Enblom A; Steineck G; Borjeson S.
Complementary and alternative medicine self-care strategies for nausea in patients undergoing abdominal or pelvic irradiation for cancer: A longitudinal observational study of implementation in routine care.
Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 34:141-148, 2017 Oct.
OBJECTIVE: To longitudinally describe practice of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) self-care strategies for nausea during radiotherapy.
METHODS: Two hundred patients daily registered nausea and practice of CAM self-care strategies, beside conventional antiemetic medications, for nausea during abdominal/pelvic irradiation (median five weeks) for gynecological (69%) colorectal (27%) or other tumors (4%).
RESULTS: During radiotherapy, 131 (66%) experienced nausea, and 50 (25%) practiced self-care for nausea at least once, for a mean (m) of 15.9 days. The six of 50 patients who stayed free from nausea practiced self-care more frequent (m=25.8days) than the 44 patients experiencing nausea (m=14.5) (p=0.013). The CAM self-care strategies were: modifying eating (80% of all self-care practicing patients, 80% of the nauseous patients versus 83% of the patients free from nausea; ns) or drinking habits (38%, 41% vs 17%; ns), taking rests (18%, 20% vs 0%; ns), physical exercising (6%, 2% vs 33%; p=0.035), acupressure (4%, 5% vs 0%; ns) and self-induced vomiting (2%, 2% vs 0%; ns).
CONCLUSION: A fourth of patients undergoing emetogenic radiotherapy practiced CAM self-care for nausea, mostly by modifying eating or drinking habits. The CAM self-care practicing patients who did not become nauseous practiced self-care more frequent than the nauseous patients did. To make such self-care evidence based, we need studies evaluating its efficacy.