Acupuncture for Cancer

Acupuncture is used to complement traditional treatments for cancer patients because it can help improve their effectiveness and reduce side effects.

Acupuncture and Cancer Treatment

The Acupuncture Center of Reading is committed to improving patient quality of life. Although acupuncture is not able to cure cancer, it can be used to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions associated with the disease, as well as the side effects of cancer treatments (especially chemotherapy).

The Benefits of Acupuncture for Cancer Patients

The physical mechanisms behind acupuncture’s effectiveness are not completely understood, but its effectiveness has been documented. In his work at the Winchester Hospital Cancer Care Center (where he is a Certified Cancer Rehab Provider), Joseph Kelliher has treated many cancer patients and has seen many of them benefit from acupuncture treatment. You can read more about Joe’s experiences at WHCCC on our blog.

Studies on Acupuncture for Cancer Pain and Side Effects

Acupuncture treatment has a well-researched positive effect on chemo-induced nausea and vomiting (1-3). There are also positive studies showing its potential use in managing cancer-related pain (4), chemotherapy-related neutropenia (5), cancer fatigue (6) radiation-induced xerostomia (7).


1. Dundee JW, Ghaly RG, Fitzpatrick KT, Abram WP, Lynch GA. Acupuncture prophylaxis of cancer chemotherapy-induced sickness. J R Soc Med. 1989 May;82(5):268–271.

2. Roscoe JA, Morrow GR, Hickok JT, et al. The efficacy of acupressure and acustimulation wrist bands for the relief of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. A University of Rochester Cancer Center Community Clinical Oncology Program multicenter study. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2003 Aug;26(2):731–742.

3. Shen J, Wenger N, Glaspy J, et al. Electroacupuncture for control of myeloablative chemotherapy-induced emesis: A randomized controlled trial. Jama. 2000;284(21):2755–2761.

4. Alimi D, Rubino C, Pichard-Leandri E, Fermand-Brule S, Dubreuil-Lemaire ML, Hill C. Analgesic effect of auricular acupuncture for cancer pain: a randomized, blinded, controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2003 Nov 15;21(22):4120–4126.

5. Lu W, Hu D, Dean-Clower E, et al. Acupuncture for chemotherapy-induced leukopenia: exploratory meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Soc Integr Oncol. 2007 Winter;5(1):1–10.

6. Vickers AJ, Straus DJ, Fearon B, Cassileth BR. Acupuncture for postchemotherapy fatigue: a phase II study. J Clin Oncol. 2004 May 1;22(9):1731–1735.

7. 14. Blom M, Dawidson I, Fernberg JO, Johnson G, Angmar-Mansson B. Acupuncture treatment of patients with radiation-induced xerostomia. Eur J Cancer B Oral Oncol. 1996 May;32B(3):182–190.