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Cancer patients can experience debilitating side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, as a result of their treatment. Medication can ease some of these side effects, but acupuncture may also be effective, says Dr. Ting Bao, an oncologist and medical acupuncturist who treats patients at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. She is also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Dr. Bao says that medical experts don't know exactly how this traditional Chinese medicine technique works, but it involves manipulating chi - the vital energy that flows through the body. She tells Karen Warmkessel that acupuncture can be beneficial in treating dry mouth, vomiting, nausea and peripheral neuropathy (tingling in the hands and feet) as well as anxiety and depression. Some patients respond better to acupuncture than others, and Dr. Bao says that more research is needed to better define its effectiveness.
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