Chemotherapy Hot Flashes
COMMON PHARMACEUTICAL TREATMENTS AND SIDE EFFECTS
Many patients undergoing chemotherapy as a cancer treatment experience hot flashes. It is a particularly common side effect when the chemotherapy involves hormone suppression therapy. This is often the case in the treatment of prostate cancer, estrogen dependent breast cancer and some thyroid cancers.
The most commonly used pharmaceutical treatment is Effexor, an antidepressant that effects serotonin levels by blocking re-absorption. It is a member of a class of drugs known as SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin RE-uptake Inhibitors).
SSRI’s can be effective for some patients experiencing hot flashes, however, some patients find the side effects to be challenging. These include:
“nausea, dry mouth, headache, trouble sleeping, dizziness, double vision, increased blood pressure, constipation, fatigue, anxiety, feeling “spaced out,” and body jerking during the night.” American Cancer Society
RECENT RESEARCH SUPPORTS THE USE OF ACUPUNCTURE FOR HOT FLASHES
As noted by the American Cancer Society, recent research supports the conclusion that acupuncture is effective in treating hot flashes associated with hormone suppression treatment. In fact the American Cancer Society’s website states
“Patients who had been treated with acupuncture reported no adverse effects. In fact, [with acupuncture] there were reports of: increased energy, clarity of thought, sexual desire, and compared to before the treatment – overall sense of well-being.”
One oncologist conducting a study found that acupuncture is an additional therapy for something that affects the majority of breast cancer survivors and actually has benefits, as opposed to more side effects,” said Eleanor Walker, MD, lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the Henry Ford Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology. “Acupuncture for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms in breast cancer patients receiving hormone suppression treatment.” Eleanor Walker, MD. International Journal of Radiation Oncology – Biology – Physics. Abstract No. 228. Volume 72, Number 1, Supplement, 2008.
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
At West Village Acupuncture can provide local convenient support for you while you are undergoing chemotherapy. We will speak with or coordinate with your oncology and other medical providers to answer any questions they may have.
It is important that your health care providers know about all supporting treatments you are receiving so that they can make the best possible decisions concerning your treatment and health.