Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Examines Acupuncture To Alleviate Symptoms For Advanced Colorectal Cancer Patients

Date:
March 5, 2003
Source:
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Summary:
Investigators at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) are testing the use of acupuncture in alleviating symptom distress in people with advanced colon cancer.

PITTSBURGH, March 4 – Colorectal cancer patients with end-stage disease often suffer from physical and psychological symptoms that negatively affect their quality of life (QOL) and require frequent hospital stays. The intensity of these symptoms can prevent patients from enjoying the remainder of their lives and taking full advantage of their limited time with family and friends.

Investigators at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) are testing the use of acupuncture in alleviating symptom distress in people with advanced colon cancer. The study is supported by a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. In order to determine whether acupuncture helps people with colon cancer, some study participants receive acupuncture and others do not.

"For many terminally ill colorectal cancer patients, their final months are marred by distressing physical symptoms," said Ellen M. Redinbaugh, Ph.D., principal investigator of the study and assistant professor of medicine in the department of behavioral medicine and oncology at the University of Pittsburgh. "These symptoms can be overwhelming for the more than 50,000 colorectal cancer patients who die every year in the United States. Their alarmingly high rates of hospitalization for symptom management near the end of life indicate a clear need for new interventions to ameliorate their distress and promote their quality of life. Acupuncture holds promise as one such technique."

Dr. Redinbaugh added that the physical symptoms of end-stage disease, which often include pain, appetite loss, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, also cause high levels of psychological distress for patients and contribute to a lessening of QOL.

Acupuncture is a treatment modality that has been used within traditional Chinese medicine for the past 2,500 years to prevent and treat illness. It is widely practiced within the United States as a therapeutic intervention for a variety of health conditions. The theoretical basis for acupuncture is that disruptions in energy flow (Qi) cause illness and disease, or an imbalance between the complementary life energies, Yin and Yang. Acupuncture is practiced to correct the imbalances of energy flow and promote optimal health and relies on the insertion of thin surgical needles into specific points close to the surface of the skin (acupoints) to stimulate energy flow.

"Acupuncture has been used successfully to reduce pain, but there is a lack of well-designed studies that compare it to other treatment modalities in this patient population," commented Andrew Baum, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and psychology and UCPI's deputy director for cancer control and population sciences. "Studies such as this one are needed to increase scientific understanding of its true efficacy in providing comfort to terminally ill patients."

The current study will evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture to improve QOL, promote emotional well-being and decrease physical symptom distress among colorectal patients with a life expectancy of six months or less. One hundred and seventy patients with metastatic colorectal cancer will be recruited for the study through the UPCI's department of gastrointestinal oncology over a four-year period. Once enrolled, patients will be randomly assigned to one of three groups. The first group will receive "true" acupuncture in which needles will be inserted at acupoints associated with emotional well-being. A second group will receive "sham" acupuncture, or the insertion of needles at locations on the body that do not represent actual acupoints. The final group will receive usual care without acupuncture.

Colorectal cancer is second only to lung cancer in numbers of cancer-related deaths in the United States. It can begin with the development of non-cancerous polyps, or growths, on the lining of the colon and rectum. These polyps can develop into cancer, which can over time invade the colon wall and spread to other parts of the body. If detected early, colorectal cancer is highly curable.

###

For more information on colorectal cancer, please call UPCI's Cancer Information and Referral Service at 1-800-237-4PCI (1-800-237-4724), or visit http://www.upmc.upci.edu .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Study Examines Acupuncture To Alleviate Symptoms For Advanced Colorectal Cancer Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030305080617.htm>.
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (2003, March 5). Study Examines Acupuncture To Alleviate Symptoms For Advanced Colorectal Cancer Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030305080617.htm
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Study Examines Acupuncture To Alleviate Symptoms For Advanced Colorectal Cancer Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030305080617.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins