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Acupuncture helps cancer patients’ dry mouth

Acupuncture given concurrently with radiotherapy can significantly reduce xerostomia (dry mouth) and improve quality of life for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. In a Chinese study, 86 patients were randomised to acupuncture or standard care. Patients received acupuncture three times per week, on days when they received radiotherapy. Patients were followed up for six months after the end of radiotherapy. Subjective xerostomia symptom scores were statistically significantly lower for patients receiving acupuncture, compared with controls, from week 3 until the end of the six-month follow-up, with clinically significant differences recorded at week 11, and at six months. Differences between the groups in terms of saliva production emerged as early as three weeks into treatment, with the acupuncture group showing significantly greater saliva flow (both unstimulated and stimulated) at week 7, week 11 and at six months. (Randomized controlled trial of acupuncture for prevention of radiation-induced xerostomia among patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Cancer. 2011 Nov 9. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26550.

Quelle: www.jcm.co.uk

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