Acupuncture, the insertion of sterile needles into acupuncture points of traditional meridians on the body, is a common and effective treatment for a number of supportive care issues in oncology including acute chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. In the Integrative Oncology setting, acupuncture and Traditional Oriental Medicine have become more visible and many oncology clinics, academic health centers and comprehensive cancer centers recommend and administer acupuncture treatment. Continued basic studies on the physiologic mechanisms of acupuncture and recent clinical trials of acupuncture for cancer patients are enhancing our knowledge and informing our guidelines. While debates on methodological problems confronting the study of acupuncture remain, the most recent research demonstrates that acupuncture is safe, tolerable and effective for a range of side effects resulting from conventional cancer treatments.
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