Such “integrative oncology” therapies could help improve patients’ quality of life.
Patients undergoing surgery for ovarian and endometrial cancers often experience anxiety and pain. A new study indicates that acupressure before surgery may help reduce anxiety and following this up with acupuncture during surgery may provide an added benefit of lessening severe pain. The research is published by Wiley online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
A total of 99 patients with gynecologic cancers participated in the study co-led by Eran Ben-Arye, MD, of Lin Medical Center, in Haifa, Israel—45 in Group A, 25 in Group B, and 29 in Group C. Group A participants received acupressure-related touch and relaxation treatments that began within 3 hours prior to surgery and continued until the patient began undergoing general anesthesia; they then received acupuncture therapy during surgery involving points shown to be effective for reducing pain. Group B participants received preoperative acupressure only, and group C participants received standard care. Both before and after surgery, patients completed questionnaires that scored the quality of their recovery and included questions about pain, anxiety, and other quality-of-life parameters.
Postoperative scores overall were higher in Groups A and B—indicating better recovery—than scores in Group C. Group A scores related to severe pain were significantly higher than Group C scores. Both intervention groups had higher scores than controls in terms of scores related to anxiety and depression.
“The inclusion of preoperative integrative medical touch and relaxation therapies for anxiety, along with intraoperative acupuncture for pain and other quality of life-related concerns, should be considered for patients undergoing gynecological oncology surgery,” said Dr. Ben-Arye. “Training in such ‘integrative oncology’ is needed for complementary medicine providers, acupuncturists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and operating room nurses, who need to work together and communicate with integrative oncology practitioners in the complex operating room setting.”
An accompanying editorial noted that integrative oncology is gaining acceptance as a clinical field by Western medicine. The author, Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, MACP, FRCP, of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, stressed that although larger studies are needed to confirm the results, the data add to a growing body of literature in support of reimbursement for integrative oncology interventions such as acupuncture.
NOTE: The information contained in this release is protected by copyright. Please include journal attribution in all coverage. A free abstract of this article will be available via the CANCER Newsroom upon online publication. For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact: Sara Henning-Stout, email@example.com
“Acupuncture during gynecological oncology surgery: A randomized controlled trial assessing the impact of integrative therapies on perioperative pain and anxiety.” Eran Ben-Arye, Yakir Segev, Galit Galil, Inbal Marom, Orit Gressel, Nili Stein, Irena Hirsh, Noah Samuels, Meirav Schmidt, Elad Schiff, Irina Lurie, and Ofer Lavie. CANCER; Published Online: January 17, 2023 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.34542).
URL Upon Publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/cncr.34542
Author Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Integrative oncology in cancer care: Reaching a tipping point.” Ana Maria Lopez. CANCER; Published Online: January 17, 2023 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.34539).
URL Upon Publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/cncr.34539
Author Contact: email@example.com
About the Journal
CANCER is a peer-reviewed publication of the American Cancer Society integrating scientific information from worldwide sources for all oncologic specialties. The objective of CANCER is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of information among oncologic disciplines concerned with the etiology, course, and treatment of human cancer. CANCER is published on behalf of the American Cancer Society by Wiley and can be accessed online. Follow us on Twitter @JournalCancer.
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Acupuncture during gynecological oncology surgery: A randomized controlled trial assessing the impact of integrative therapies on perioperative pain and anxiety
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