Hot flashes and night sweats, known as vasomotor symptoms, can be disruptive to breast cancer patients going through menopause. Medications such as venlafaxin may have other unpleasant side effects. Now, a recent study from Henry Ford Hospital has found that acupuncture may provide relief, but without unpleasant side effects.

Fifty women with breast cancer were divided into two treatment groups, on receiving 12 weeks of acupuncture and the other receiving 12 weeks of venlafaxin treatment.  While both groups initially showed a reduction in symptoms, the acupuncture group continued this two weeks after the end of treatment.

Clearly, acupuncture can provide non-invasive relief of troubling symptoms for patients already ill from breast cancer


Walker EM, Rodriguez AI, Kohn B, et al. Acupuncture versus venlafaxine for the management of vasomotor symptoms in patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Feb 1;28(4):634-40.

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