Acupuncture is well researched in this arena and seems to offer benefit that many people value. Most research has been conducted for people after treatment has ended for the problems that may continue to plague them, most especially cancer-related fatigue.
Research is often confined to measuring specific problems such as hot flushes and night-sweats, cancer-related fatigue, pain, peripheral neuropathy, nausea and vomiting. This is because research design very often shapes the intervention into a measurable unit. It is well known that people with cancer, especially during treatment, experience a range of debilitating symptoms and side-effects that fluctuate and vary and these are known as symptom clusters. For instance, combinations of anxiety, insomnia, night-sweats, nausea, and fatigue are common. Fatigue is difficult to define but is more than tiredness, often an unwell feeling that is not relieved by rest.
In my research with cancer patients, there were other issues too – loss of confidence and fear of not coping. Because traditional acupuncture addresses the whole person, in my research people valued a range of perceived benefits including specific help with symptom relief and a sense of calm and relaxation that helped them to cope with chemotherapy and other treatment effects plus the shock of the diagnosis itself. If you would like more information on any of this research please contact me. If you are having chemotherapy, you will be offered a reduction in the cost of acupuncture treatment.