Acupuncture and Prostate Cancer

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help side effects of prostate cancer treatment

With more than 2 million survivors of prostate cancer in the U.S., it’s important to recognize that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month. It’s even more important when you realize that 1 out of every 6 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Thankfully, prostate cancer can be successfully treated for many patients with care ranging from “watchful waiting” to surgery and chemotherapy to hormone therapy. In addition to these approaches, many doctors are increasingly seeing the benefits of Oriental Medicine, including acupuncture, to help patients manage their overall health and treat some of the common side effects associated with their treatments.

For example, acupuncture has been shown to help alleviate cancer pain and the nausea associated with chemotherapy treatments. Also, a recent study published in International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics showed that acupuncture helped relieve the hot flashes that can be associated with prostate cancer surgery or hormone treatment.

In addition to acupuncture, the University of Maryland Medical Center outlines on its website select herbal medicine treatments that have shown promise for prostate cancer patients. These include:

Green tea – green tea extract has been shown to provide a slight benefit in certain types of prostate cancer

Milk Thistle – in a laboratory, milk thistle was shown to stop prostate cancer cells from growing; these results have not yet been confirmed in human patients

Garlic – taking garlic extract has been shown to help fight cancer cells

Remember, a licensed practitioner of Oriental Medicine will help develop a custom and comprehensive treatment regimen for each patient, including acupuncture and herbal remedies.

Please also remember those battling prostate cancer this month…