Acupuncture/ pressureProstate

Acupunture for hot flashes in men with prostate cancer

Hot flashes are a common side effect of androgen ablation therapy — a well-established treatment for various stages of prostate cancer.

Researchers at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, in Brooklyn, New York, report positive effects with acupuncture.

First, the details.

  • 17 men with hot flashes and a history of androgen ablation therapy for prostate cancer were studied.
  • A hot flash score was used to measure daily hot flashes.
  • A daily score was calculated by multiplying frequency times severity.
  • Daily scores before acupuncture were compared with scores at 2 and 6 weeks and at 8-months.

And, the results.

  • The average initial hot flash score was 28, which dropped to…
    • 10 at 2 weeks after treatment
    • 8 at 6 weeks
    • 7 at 8 months — significant improvements.
  • Improvement at Weeks 2 and 6 was 68% and 89%, respectively — significant improvement.
  • Improvement at 8 months was 80% — also significant.
  • No side effects were encountered during, immediately after treatment, or at 8 months.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Acupuncture provides excellent control of hot flashes in men with a history of androgen ablation therapy. The absence of side effects and the durable response at 8 months are likely to be appealing to patients.”

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland conducted a similar study and reported a positive response to acupuncture. In addition, “A reduced hot flash score was associated with improvement in the hot flash-related quality of life and sleep quality.”

7/8/10 21:04 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.