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Acupuncture helps with dry mouth due to cancer treatment

UK has concluded that acupuncture can provide significant symptom relief for cancer patients with radiation-induced xerostomia. A total of 145 patients with chronic xerostomia following radiation treatment for head and neck cancer were studied in a randomised crossover design, with participants receiving two group sessions of oral care education and eight sessions of acupuncture. Compared with oral care acupuncture produced significant reductions in patients’ experience of severe dry mouth, sticky saliva, needing to sip fluids to swallow food and waking up at night to drink, although there were no significant changes in either stimulated or unstimulated saliva measurements.
(ARIX: A randomised trial of acupuncture v oral care sessions in patients with chronic xerostomia following treatment of head and neck cancer. Ann Oncol. 2012 Oct 25.)


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