Breast cancer survivor joint pain and acupuncture

The impacts cancer can have on a survivor’s life can come from multiple sources. For one, they can come from the health effects of the cancer itself. Major life impacts can also sometimes come from the treatments for the cancer, as some cancer treatments have some significant side effects.

For example, one hormonal therapy that breast cancer patients sometimes receive, aromatase inhibitors, can cause patients to experience pain in their joints and stiffness. A recent study indicates that acupuncture may be able to provide relief to breast cancer survivors who suffer from joint pain.

Forty-one breast cancer survivors were participants in the study. These individuals suffered from stiffness/joint pain. In the study, some of these individuals were given electroacupuncture therapy, while others were given fake acupuncture therapy.

The study found that the participants that received the real electroacupuncture therapy, on average, experienced a pain reduction of around 40 percent. The study found that this reduction occurred both in participants who expected the acupuncture therapy to work and those who didn’t.

Thus, the study indicates that acupuncture may have real pain relief benefits for some breast cancer survivors who experience joint pain as a result of cancer treatments.

It is very important that society doesn’t lose sight of the fact that treatment side effects can have major effects on cancer survivors. One hopes that medical researchers will continue to put efforts towards finding methods for helping cancer patients deal with treatment side effects.

The fact that the impacts of cancer can come from multiple sources and can take many different forms can sometimes make determining what overall effects a cancer has had on a person somewhat challenging. This can sometimes present difficulties for cancer patients who are applying for Social Security disability benefits. Experienced SSD attorneys can help cancer patients gather documentation of the impacts their cancer has had and can assist them in determining what their likelihood is that they would be found eligible for SSD benefits.

Source: WebMD, “Acupuncture, Exercise May Ease Breast Cancer Pain,” Kathleen Doheny, Nov. 13, 2014