Most cancer treatments involve varying degrees of symptoms so any relief that can be provided for patients is very welcome.
For people who have neck or head cancer a very incapacitating consequence of radiation is xerostomia.
This is acute dry mouth and happens after the glands that produce saliva have been treated with radiation to attack the tumors[cancer radiation therapy].
These types of cancers require a prolonged dosage of radiation which leads to this condition.
A study just released on line has shown that treatments of acupuncture can create great relief from these symptoms.
The medicine pilocarpine, usually given for this, comes with side effects as well, just compounding the problems and also it only really provides short term relief.
Using different things to produce saliva for example chewing gum etc is only an instant and brief solution.
Although the research was small, less than twenty patients, the difference that it made were marked. Two times per week, over a month, subjects would get acupuncture and it was shown to greatly improve their well being.
The spokesperson for the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center believes the next step if that a larger amount of cancer sufferers will be studied.
There are many problems associated with xerostomia including inability to speak or swallow, teeth decay, mouth infections and an acutely altered sense of taste.
All this can create a disaster in terms of the body getting the nutrition it requires. Acupuncture has no side effects and is a very gentle treatment, it also have healing powers over most of the body and the fact that it can relieve such pain and suffering is wonderful news for those trying to survive head or neck cancer.