Acupuncture, useful for arthralgia associated with hormonal therapy for breast cancer

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Acupuncture, useful for arthralgia associated with hormonal therapy for breast cancer

Aromatase inhibitors (AI) have proven to be effective in women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer (BC). However, the frequent appearance of stiffness and arthralgias following treatment with AIs results in a worsening of their quality of life and leads to consultations in oncology and primary care services. There is currently no effective response without adverse effects.

This is why, at the Acupuncture Unit of Dexeus Mujer, Dr Isabel Giralt and Dr Gilda Carvajal treated and observed the results of its application in 10 patients to mitigate their joint pain due to treatment with aromatase inhibitors (AI). In total, 16 acupuncture sessions were carried out with local, distal and general points, electroacupuncture on painful knees and auriculotherapy. At the end of the treatment, patients reported positive results immediately after and two months later: these results were confirmed with validated wellbeing and pain scales.

Several studies have demonstrated the efficacy of acupuncture for this type of pain, and it is now recommended in the clinical guidelines of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The study conducted at Dexeus Mujer confirms its positive impact and establishes a useful protocol, without adverse effects, which is already being used in our clinic and can be applied in other primary care, oncology and gynaecology services as an adjuvant treatment for this type of pain associated with the use of AIs. The results of this study were recently presented at a conference organised by the Spanish Society of Integrative Health and Medicine (SESMI) at the Madrid College of Physicians, and published in the journal “Atención Primaria”.

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