Exercise therapy, acupuncture improve strength and decrease pain in breast cancer survivors

the ONA take:

According to two new studies published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs, researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have identified the benefits of exercise therapy and electro-acupuncture in breast cancer survivors.

The first study implemented an evidence-based exercise and educational program for women who have survived breast cancer in a practice setting. The researchers found that patients in the program had decreased lymphedema and fewer women experienced lymphedema onset.

The exercise therapy also reduced the need for therapist-delivered treatment, improved upper and lower body strength, and improved body image among participants.

In the second study, breast cancer survivors received electro-acupuncture, which was found to decrease joint pain up to 40% in patients with breast cancer despite beliefs about whether it would or would not work. In addition, patients that received acupuncture with nonpenetrative needles and no electrical stimulation reduced join pain by as much as 80%, but only if patients highly believed it would help.

The findings suggest that acupunture is not all placebo and patients may benefit from both electro-acupuncture and acupuncture without the use of penetrative needles and electro-stimulation.

Exercise therapy, acupuncture improve strength and decrease pain in breast cancer survivors
Researchers identified the benefits of exercise therapy and electro-acupuncture in breast cancer survivors.

Two new studies from the Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania offer hope for breast cancer survivors struggling with cancer-related pain and swelling, and point to ways to enhance muscular strength and body image.

The studies appear in a first of its kind monograph from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs focusing on integrative oncology, which combines a variety of therapies, some non-traditional, for maximum benefit to cancer patients. In the first study, A Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Trial of an Evidence-Based Exercise Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors, Penn researchers assessed patients participating in "Strength after Breast Cancer," a Penn Medicine-developed, evidence-based exercise and education program for breast cancer survivors.

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