Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women. In 2014, it is estimated that 15,270 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. There are many different forms of breast cancer such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), invasive ductal or lobular carcinoma, Paget’s disease of the nipple and inflammatory breast cancer. We provide an integrative treatment approach to your cancer diagnosis and support women and men during treatment. We also provide support and treatment for nonmalignant breast disorders such as benign lumps and breast pain.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The symptoms of breast cancer depend on where the tumor is located, the size of the tumor and how quickly it is growing.1
Breast changes that may indicate breast cancer include:
- a new lump or lumpiness, especially if it’s only in one breast3
- a change in the size or shape of the breast3
- a change to the nipple, such as crusting, ulcer, redness or inversion3
- a nipple discharge that occurs without squeezing3
- a change in the skin of the breast such as redness or dimpling3
- an unusual pain that doesn’t go away.3
Breast cancer treatment at Acumedica
We take an integrated approach to your breast cancer diagnosis and ask that you bring all your pathology results so that we can treat and advise of your best treatment option based on stage, category, sensitivity of cancer to hormones and genetics alongside your treatment principles from your specialist.
At Acumedica we have developed evidence based protocols alongside your chinese medicine diagnosis to help minimise the side effects of your conventional medicine treatment, as such chinese medicine and acupuncture may help alleviate, hot flushes, sweating, mood swings, improve your sleep, energy levels and digestive function.
Our treatment protocols are evidence based and designed around various in vitro, in vivo and Randomized Control Trials that support the use of dietary modifications, herbal medicine, nutritional supplements and acupuncture. Our treatemnt protocols help with the following side effects from your conventional medicine treatemnt such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and medications such as Tamoxifen to:
- relieve pain
- reduce cyto- and hepatotoxicity
- inhibit gastrointestinal toxicity
- promote angiogenesis
- alleviate postoperative pain
- reduce hot flashes
- nausea and vomiting
- alleviate aromatase inhibitor-induced joint pain and stiffness
- improve physical well-being
Nutritional and Naturopathic Medicine for Breast Cancer
At Acumedica we go beyond the basic guidelines of healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight, we incorporate and encourage cancer fighting foods alongside dietary and nutritional supplementation at the dosages requried based on your individual genetics, biochemistry and pathology readings.
A taste of our Healthy Tips for breast cancer may include
- Consume organic walnuts they contain a range of protective compounds such as gamma-tocopherol, alpha-linolenic acid, phytoestrols and melatonin
- eat legumes as they contain lignans, saponins antioxidants and resistant starch that help protect colon cells
- Green Tea contains EGCG a compound shown to prevent cancer and reduces specific binding of tumor promoters in various studies. Further studies have shown that EGCG is at least 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 better than Vitamin E at protecting cells and their genetic material
How many treatments will I need?
Our aim is to educate and support you on all aspects of your cancer journey combining the best of our integrative therapies.
Prior to Cancer Treatment:
Acupuncture and specific nutritional/dietary advice prior to starting treatment will assist your immune system, reduce side effects of chemotherapy and promote greater effectiveness of cancer treatment. It is advised initially to start with to have 5-6 treatments prior to cancer treatment.
During your Cancer Treatment:
During your cancer treatment acupuncture can be given daily as happens in China however 1-2 per week is often enough depending on the severity of your symptoms. During cancer treatment it is often the symptoms associated with the cancer therapy that requires the greatest attention.
Post Chemotherapy/Radiotherapy and Remission:
Post chemotherapy and whilst in remission your treatment protocol will be constantly re-evaluated and changed according to symptoms and laboratory results. It is advised to continue treatment weekly or fortnightly depending on how you respond.
Regarding all nutritional and herbal therapy this is to be discussed and approved with you oncologist. At Acumedica we provide our recommendations with rationale and the research (if requested) directly to your oncologist.
In 2004 a study undertaken at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in America showed that acupuncture reduced post-chemotherapy fatigue by 31%.
In 2005, a preliminary study of breast cancer patients in Sweden showed that acupuncture reduced hot flashes by half.
In 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who had electro-acupuncture had significantly fewer nausea episodes than those who didn’t.
A small study has shown that acupuncture can help to reduce joint pain caused by hormone treatment for breast cancer. Joint pain is sometimes a side effect of a type of hormone treatment called aromatase inhibitors, which include anastrozole, exemestane and letrozole.
References (symptoms of breast cancer)
1.Cancer Australia. Guide for women with early breast cancer. Cancer Australia, Surry Hills, NSW, 2012.
2.National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre. Guide for women with secondary breast cancer. National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010.
3.Cancer Australia. Breast changes.
4.Cancer Australia. Breast cancer risk
Dang W, Yang J: 1998, Clinical study on acupuncture treatment of stomach carcinoma pain. J Traditional Chinese Medicine 18 (1): 31-8)
Garcia er al 2013 Systematic review of Acupuncutre in Cancer Care: A synthesis of Evidence, J Clin Oncol Mar 1 2013 31(7):952-960
He, JP et al: 1999, Pain-relief and movemnt by acupucnture after ablation and axillary lymphadenectomy in patients with mammary cancer. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecology 26 (2) 81-4
Hoffman R., 2014, EGCG: potent extract of green tea
Liao G-S, Apaya MK, Lie-Fen Shyur L-F. (2013). Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture for Breast Cancer Palliative Care and Adjuvant Therapy. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013:437948. doi:10.1155/2013/437948
Vickers AJ: 1996, can acupuncture have specific effects on health? A systematic review of acupuncture antiemesis trials. JR Soc Med 89 (6):303-11
Zhang T et al., 2006 Clinical research on nourishing yin and unblocking meridians recipe combined with opioid analgesics in cancer pain management. Chin J Integr Med 12 (3): 180-4)
Disclaimer regarding cancer
This website does not suggest individualised cancer treatments nor does it suggest a cure for cancer but offers information and research, which may aid cancer suffers find adjunct approaches to conventional cancer therapies. In China and in the US, many hospitals offer both conventional and caM therapies. All patients are strongly recommended to discuss TM-CAM use with their Medical Doctor, Oncologist and/or Surgeon as well as their qualified TM-CAM practitioner. It is my hope this site brings about a better communication between conventional and TM-CAM practitioners and an increased use of non-standard compounds.