One of the main methods of treating advanced prostate cancer is by chemically depleting the body of testosterone – also known as Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT). There are a few drugs on the market used for this purpose but Lupron is one of the most common.
A prospective study conducted in the department of radiation oncology and the acupuncture section of New York Methodist Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, both in New York, researchers evaluated 14 men who were experiencing hot flashes due to hormone therapy for prostate cancer. Upon enrolling in the study, the men were given a hot flash score (HFS) to evaluate their discomfort from daily hot flashes. The mean initial HFS was 28.3 (Ashamalla et al. 2011)
Participants then received acupuncture twice a week for 30 minutes at a time for four weeks. Two weeks after receiving acupuncture, their HFS was measured again and had dropped more than half to 10.3. At six weeks post-treatment, their HFS was 7.5. After eight months, the men were evaluated again and their mean HFS was 7.
This is not the only study that proves acupuncture can help this group of men. Beer et al, demonstrated 25% response rate to placebo treatment for hot flashes in men on hormone deprivation therapy. (Beer et al. 2010).
Men on ADT should not be suffering from hot flashes when safe and effective treatments like acupuncture are available. To seek an acupuncturist near you go to www.acufinder.com.
In Optimal Health,
Hani Ashamalla, Ming L. Jiang, Adel Guirguis, Francesco Peluso, Mark Ashamalla. Acupuncture for the Alleviation of Hot Flashes in Men Treated With Androgen Ablation Therapy. International Journal of Radiation OncologyBiologyPhysics, 2011; 79 (5)
Beer TM, Benavides M, Emmons SL, Hayes M, Liu G, Garzotto M, Donovan D, Katovic N, Reeder C, Eilers K. Acupuncture for hot flashes in patients with prostate cancer. Urology. 2010 Nov;76(5):1182-8.