Radiation and chemotherapy ( while attempting to annihilate cancer cells) both lower the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets (these help with the blood clotting process to prevent excessive bleeding). Another side effect of chemo and radiation is the suppression of bone marrow. This often leads to osteopenia (low bone mass) which can manifest into osteoporosis (brittle and weak bone mass that leads to fractures).
Once or twice weekly acupuncture treatments during the time of chemo/radiation therapy can help with some of the toxic side effects of treatment. The addition of custom formulated herbal prescriptions (only upon the approval of your oncologist) can help minimize the suppression of bone marrow and help boost up your white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. If your oncologist frowns upon the use of Chinese herbal formulas (and this is at their discretion as together, we would need to ensure there are no herbs contraindicated in the efficacy of the chemo/radiation therapy), then acupuncture alone can help boost the cell levels as well as improve your immune system. Other side effects that are addressed and minimized solely with acupuncture therapy are: night sweats, xerostoma (dry mouth), low energy, nausea, photophobia, dry and brittle nails, GERD, constipation, and anxiety.
If you or someone you cherish is battling cancer and going through radiation/chemotherapy, contact my office today to schedule an appointment for either you or that person. If not my clinic, ensure that the licensed professional has been well-trained to treat the cancer patient by a certified hospital. I am certified with Memorial Sloane Kettering here in NYC.
Stay well, stay warm…it’s cold here in the Northeast this week.