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Breast Cancer

Acupuncture in the Rehabilitation of Women after Breast Cancer Surgery

Topic: Acupuncture in the Rehabilitation of Women after Breast Cancer Surgery

Keywords: BREAST CANCER SURGERY, LYMPHEDEMA, LYMPHOEDEMA - Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine

Reference: "Acupuncture in the rehabilitation of women after breast cancer surgery," Alem M, Gurgel M, et al, Acupunct Med, 2008; 26(2): 87-93. (Address: Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics School of Medicine, Universidade Estadual de Campinas Unicamp, Brazil. E-mail: salete@caism.unicamp.br ).

Summary: In a study involving 29 women who had undergone breast cancer surgery and were experiencing lymphedema and/or a decrease in movement amplitude of the upper limb ipsilateral to surgery, treatment with acupuncture (24 weekly treatments) was found to significantly improve range of motion of the shoulder (flexion and abduction), degree of lymphedema, and the sense of heaviness and tightness in the affected limb after 6 months of treatment. The authors conclude, "…controlled trials should be performed to ascertain whether the results were due to the natural history of the complaint or the acupuncture treatment."

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