Thursday, September 18, 2014

Acupuncture and Lymphedema

Published by Memorial Sloan Kettering
A study from Memorial Sloan Kettering investigators has shown that acupuncture may help relieve lymphedema of the arm, a swelling that sometimes follows breast cancer treatment.
The research, led by Barrie R. Cassileth, Chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Integrative Medicine Service, and Clifford A. Hudis, Chief of the Breast Cancer Medicine Service, was published April 10 in the journal Cancer.
“We have shown that acupuncture as a treatment for lymphedema is safe and well tolerated,” says Dr. Cassileth. “Furthermore, this study demonstrated reductions in lymphedema for the patients treated, providing strong impetus for the randomized controlled trial that is now under way to prove that the effect is real.”

A Need for New Treatments

Some breast cancer patients need to have lymph nodes surgically removed, either because cancer has spread to them or because the lymph nodes have been damaged by radiation therapy.
Normally, lymph nodes help filter and remove fluid from the body. When the lymph nodes are removed, the fluid can collect in the affected limb and cause painful swelling.
Lymphedema is most commonly seen in the arms of breast cancer patients who have had lymph nodes removed in their armpits, but can also occur in the legs of patients whose pelvic region lymph nodes were removed. The condition causes discomfort and restricts mobility and also can lead to infections requiring hospitalization.
Patients affected by lymphedema of the arm often receive regular and intensive physical therapy to reduce the volume of lymphatic fluid. They also may need to wear restrictive stockings on their arms to prevent the fluid from recollecting. The treatments can be time-consuming, expensive, and uncomfortable, and they do not reduce arm circumference in a sustained way.
“This is a condition for which there are currently no good treatment options,” Dr. Cassileth says. “There is a pressing need to develop more-effective means to treat this problem.”

Evaluating Acupuncture

In this early-stage study, Memorial Sloan Kettering researchers aimed to assess the safety and potential effectiveness of this approach as a treatment for lymphedema of the upper arm.
Study participants received acupuncture at Memorial Sloan Kettering twice weekly for four weeks, using a regimen developed by the Integrative Medicine Service. For each session, acupuncturists inserted 14 needles at sites on the affected and unaffected arms, legs, and torso.
The researchers measured the participants’ upper-arm circumference before and after the treatments. They found that among the 33 patients who received acupuncture, 11 had a significant reduction in swelling and another 18 had at least a small reduction. When contacted several weeks later for feedback, patients reported lasting improvement in swelling.
In addition, the study showed that acupuncture caused no serious side effects.
Although the researchers caution that it is difficult to draw firm conclusions from a small study, they are encouraged by the results. “I believe it is absolutely worth exploring for patients who are struggling with this difficult condition,” Dr. Cassileth says.

Next Steps

larger study, a randomized clinical trial led by Dr. Cassileth and Memorial Sloan Kettering breast cancer specialists, is under way. This study compares patients receiving acupuncture with those undergoing only conventional treatments. Researchers hope that this more definitive trial will shed further light on the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for upper arm lymphedema.
Dr. Cassileth cautions patients who might seek acupuncture for lymphedema on their own. “Because of the potential for complications,” she concludes, “it’s important that acupuncture treatment is received only from licensed practitioners who are also specifically trained to work with cancer patients.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chemotherapy Wigs Review - Color Treated Wigs Review

Thank you Janice for an awesome review on Yelp!  We love hearing from our clients about learning about their experiences with our products and services:

"I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! You guys are an awesome team!! You made me feel comfortable and at ease at a time when I felt like my world was falling apart!! My hair, as is to most women, is very important to me so was very upsetting to know I would lose it during chemo. You matched my color and style exactly, so much so that NO ONE could tell it was a wig. I have been asked over and over "so you had chemo but you still have your hair?" I even had a lady in the grocery store last week come up to me and say "I absolutely love your hair" No one could tell I was wearing a wig and that gave me back my confidence! Your caring attitude and professionalism cannot be topped!! I recommend you guys to anyone I can!! Keep up the great work!!" - Janice

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Eyebrows and Cancer Treatment

We happily endorse Lizette Cosmetics and their eyebrow makeup kit!  It is wonderful for cancer patients to use while going through treatment, and want to feel and look beautiful!  The makeup is water resistant and easy to use with 6 different eyebrow shaped stencils to choose from.  The makeup comes in 10 different tones and gives a more natural look than penciling in or tattooing eyebrows.

Still not sold on Lizette?  Come by our center at 4141 Southwest Fwy #315 and give it a try!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

American Hair Loss Council

We recently earned certification from the American Hair Loss Council as an accredited facility committed to the highest standard of professionalism and excellence in client service, support and satisfaction!