VIENNA–Acupuncture treatments appear to relieve the common musculoskeletal discomfort experienced by women taking aromatase inhibitors (AIs) to reduce the risk of recurrent breast cancer, researchers reported in a small, single-arm study here at the St. Gallen Breast Cancer Conference. As shown in the poster study by Giovanni Giardina, MD, Senior Assistant in Oncology at Ospedale di Circolo e Fondazione Macchi in Italy, all women with self-reported musculoskeletal pain who were treated with acupuncture techniques reported improvement in pain and quality of life on validated assessment instruments. Giardina noted that while AIs are recommended as part of the adjuvant treatment of hormone-sensitive early breast cancer, “a consistent proportion of patients may experience musculoskeletal symptoms that can lead to discontinuation of this effective therapy or to a reduction of quality of life.
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- The Italian research team used an acupuncture technique known as Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture, a system of acupuncture that evolved in the 1960s and 1970s through the work of Japanese physician and scientist Toshikatsu Yamamoto.