Traditional Chinese Medicine for Breast Cancer Symptom Management

Between 40-85% of breast cancer patients in the US use complementary and adjunct therapies to manage breast cancer symptoms. Acupuncture and qigong (a mindfulness-based stress reduction technique), two modalities that fall under the umbrella of traditional Chinese medicine, are increasingly incorporated into comprehensive cancer treatment plans. Dozens of randomized control trials have been done that explore the benefits of acupuncture and qigong for cancer patients, and both modalities are used at cancer centers across the country, including Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center, and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Some of the most common evidence-based applications include:


  1. Reducing treatment side-effects, including nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, and hot flashes

  2. Reducing cancer-related fatigue

  3. Improving mood by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression  

  4. Managing pain and swelling

  5. Enhancing immune function

When acupuncture is performed by a professionally trained licensed acupuncturist and qigong is taught by an experience instructor,  the two modalities are generally considered safe adjunct therapies for symptom management of breast cancer.

For more information or to schedule a free consultation with one of our acupuncturists, please contact our office.