New research published in the Annals of Oncology (Oxford University Press, Oxford Journals) concludes that acupuncture is effective for relieving dry mouth caused by cancer radiation therapy. A sample size of 145 patients with chronic radiation induced xerostomia, dry mouth, was studied in a randomized investigation of acupuncture treatments compared with oral care education. The researchers noted that acupuncture was superior to oral care and produced pronounced and clinically significant results.
The researchers documented that acupuncture significantly reduced severe dry mouth, reduced issues of sticky saliva and reduced the need for patients to sip fluids to swallow food. Acupuncture also significantly reduced the need to wake up at night to drink. The researchers concluded that eight acupuncture treatments performed at a rate of one per week was superior to oral care education for the relief of xerostomia induced by cancer radiation therapy.
In a related case history published by the Medical College of Wisconsin in the Journal of Cancer Therapeutics & Research, researchers conclude that acupuncture reduces chemotherapy and radiation treatment side effects. The study demonstrated that acupuncture reduced painful swallowing and dry mouth that resulted from chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
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