Back to Browse Journals » International Journal of Women's Health » Volume 2

Quality of life of breast cancer patients medicated with anti-estrogens, 2 years after acupuncture treatment: a qualitative study

Authors Jill Hervik, Odd Mjåland

Published Date September 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 319—325

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S12809

Published 28 September 2010

Jill Hervik1, Odd Mjåland2
1Pain Clinic, Vestfold Hospital, Tønsberg, Norway; 2Department of Abdominal Surgery, Sørlandet Sykehus, Kristiansand, Norway

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the quality of life of breast cancer patients medicated with estrogen antagonists, 2 years after having acupuncture treatment for hot flashes.
Methods and materials: Our sample was taken from women who had recently participated in a randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of acupuncture on hot flashes, a side effect of estrogen-antagonist treatment. Forty-one women from the true acupuncture treatment group and 41 women from the control group (sham acupuncture), who had 2 years previously received a course of 15 acupuncture treatments over a period of 10 weeks, were asked to answer an open question. The question, “Would you like to share your thoughts and experiences related to your breast cancer diagnosis, treatments or anything else?” was by being open, broad, and nonspecific, intended to stimulate subjective information, which was not included in the original, or future quantitative studies. Qualitative data were analyzed using systematic text condensation.
Results: Most women were troubled by two or more side effects due to anti-estrogen medication, negatively affecting their life quality. Symptoms included hot flashes, sleep problems, muscle and joint pain, arm edema, fatigue, weight gain, depression, and lack of sexual desire. Women previously treated with sham acupuncture complained that hot flashes were still problematic, whilst those previously treated with traditional Chinese acupuncture found them less of a problem and generally had a more positive outlook on life. These results compare favorably with the findings from our original study that measured quantitatively health related quality of life.
Conclusion: Side effects due to anti-estrogen treatment seriously affect the quality of life of breast cancer operated patients. Patients who had previously been treated with traditional Chinese acupuncture complained less of hot flashes, and had a more positive outlook on life, than women who had previously been treated with sham acupuncture.

Keywords: breast cancer, anti-estrogen medication, quality of life

Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML] 

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. Permissions beyond the scope of the License are administered by Dove Medical Press Limited. Information on how to request permission may be found at: http://www.dovepress.com/permissions.php

Readers of this article also read:

Epoetin beta for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia: an update

Galli L, Ricci C, Egan CG

OncoTargets and Therapy 2015, 8:583-591

Published Date: 5 March 2015

Cortisol levels and sleep patterns in infants with orofacial clefts undergoing surgery

Mueller AA, Kalak N, Schwenzer-Zimmerer K, Holsboer-Trachsler E, Brand S

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2014, 10:1965-1972

Published Date: 15 October 2014

The relationship between health-related fitness and quality of life in postmenopausal women from Southern Taiwan

Hsu WH, Chen CL, Kuo LT, Fan CH, Lee MS, Hsu RWW

Clinical Interventions in Aging 2014, 9:1573-1579

Published Date: 16 September 2014

The personal, societal, and economic burden of schizophrenia in the People's Republic of China: implications for antipsychotic therapy

Montgomery W, Liu L, Stensland MD, Xue HB, Treuer T, Ascher-Svanum H

ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research 2013, 5:407-418

Published Date: 14 August 2013

Ginkgo biloba extract in the treatment of tinnitus: a systematic review

von Boetticher A

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2011, 7:441-447

Published Date: 28 July 2011

Ocular injuries from exploding glass-bottled Coca-Cola® drinks in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Pedro-Egbe CN, Ejimadu CS, Nwachukwu H

Clinical Ophthalmology 2011, 5:651-654

Published Date: 19 May 2011

Intracellular heavy metal nanoparticle storage: progressive accumulation within lymph nodes with transformation from chronic inflammation to malignancy

Tommaso Iannitti, Stefania Capone, Antonietta Gatti, et al

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2010, 5:955-960

Published Date: 15 November 2010

Drug design with Cdc7 kinase: a potential novel cancer therapy target

Masaaki Sawa, Hisao Masai

Drug Design, Development and Therapy 2008, 2:255-264

Published Date: 18 November 2008