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Here we go again! My sister, Diana, finished her round of chemo, chemo/radiation in July, had a lung tap that showed her fluid was cancer free, then had a PET scan in September that showed her tumor had shrunk, but was not dead. She was so upset! :cry: She also was upset as the MD told her she would never be a candidate for surgery (cyberknife included) as when she was diagnosed, she had cancer cells in her fluid, so that meant the pluera was involved. So now, she is going to start chemo again (she waited for a month because she was not mentally prepared to start all over again she said). Diana told me she is going to be on Navalbine, Gemzar and Avastin. Does anyone have any information on these drugs? Diana said the Avastin is to cut off the blood to the tumor. Are there articles I should be reading, etc? Is it normal that the tumor does not react to the chemo the first time? I have a patient who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and has beat it to date! She said the MD told her she was a poster child for lung cancer! :D

Diana told me the size of her tumor from diagnosis to July. She started out with a 6.7cm in Dec 06, then 2.7 cm at the time of radiation. At the time of the PET scan it was 3.3 cm. She also is doing the Cassie's tea 3x/day.

I attended a dental seminar that spoke of acupunture being something to consider for lung cancer treatment. Has anyone heard of this? This is a first for me hearing such a thing.

As always, thank you for your support and information! I feel bad that I don't have much to offer as far as information for others. I can help with mouth sores if anyone has them. As a dental hygienist I can at least help with infomation that way! :) I hope I can help someone!

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My husband didn't have postitive results with the first round of 4 chemos.His lung tumor shrunk 33% after the 3rd session, but after the 4th it had grown. He also has mets to his bones so that could be the difference.

I wish your sister well.


PS I work PT in a dental office, front desk, I love it!

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I posted an article in the Alternative and Complementary Therapies forum not too long ago about acupuncture and neuropathy. I went back to the site that I got that from and found this.. I hope it will help answer some of your questions..

Wishing your sister all the best



Acupuncture in Cancer Treatment

By: Eugene Mak, MD, Board Certified Oncologist and MARF Board Member

A frequently asked question by patients undergoing cancer treatment is, "Can acupuncture help me?"

The issue then becomes: is there a place for acupuncture in the vast field of cancer with its diverse treatment modalities?

'Vast' since cancer is not one disease but over 300 different malignancies, each with its own unique histology, patho-physiology, and clinical behavior. 'Diverse' because of the different chemotherapeutic classes of agents, hormonal agents, types of High-energy particle beam generators, and various delivery systems for radiation treatment. 'Diverse' also because it encompasses various types of surgical procedures, nutritional support, and the body-mind holistic approach.

Timely diagnosis and early surgery offer the most favorable possibility of a cure for solid tumors. The germinal cancers and Hodgkin's lymphoma, along with some hematologic malignancies such as childhood leukemia, are the few exceptions. These are treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow or stem cell transplantation singly or in combination. Some of the latter are the most predictably curable malignancies with or without surgery.

If the diagnosis is late, surgery unsuccessful, or should the tumor recur after surgery, then the chance of a cure, with rare exceptions, is considered lost. This class of patients, along with those not amenable to surgical approaches, are treated palliatively. Palliative therapies also consist of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiation therapy and/or palliative surgery.

The role of Acupuncture in Cancer Treatment

The role of acupuncture in the curative group is in its adjunctive use in:


in post-operative pain control

Nausea and Vomiting

and in aiding and hastening recovery from the side effects of the various therapies.

Acupuncture is effective for control of pain, of local swelling post-operatively, for shortening the resolution of hematoma and tissue swelling and for minimizing use of medications and their attendant side effects. Energetic acupuncture, an approach consisting of the use of needles with electricity and moxibustion (a form of local heating with herbs) imparts a sense of well being and accelerates patients' recovery. In conjunction with nutritional support, its use is routinely employed in some cancer institutions.

Nausea and Vomiting

The dreaded nausea and vomiting which commonly occurs in some patients undergoing chemotherapy and inevitably, with the use of certain classes of agents, can often be worse than the disease itself. Most oncologists have experienced the patients who start vomiting at the thought of their next clinic visit. At the University of Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, a well-controlled study completed over two Years ago, the authors of the published paper reported significant reduction of nausea and vomiting when pre-treated with. It is now routinely administered before, after and in between chemotherapy treatment sessions for control or nausea and emesis. Such treatments are relatively simple and easily executed in an outpatient setting. Its effectiveness helps in minimizing the use of standard, expensive multi-drug anti-nausea regimens with their attendant side effects, given along with the chemotherapeutic agents.

Pain Control

That acupuncture is a powerful tool for general pain control is widely known. Less known is its successful use in some cancer-related pain and in reducing narcotic use and thereby minimizing the side effects confusion, disturbed mentation, behavioral changes, nausea and severe constipation.

Needling a variety of trigger and painful points, percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and osteo-puncture, along with whole body energetic acupuncture support, are approaches available to the acupuncturists. In the acupuncture paradigm, any chronic disease process depletes the energy level in the organism. Such depletion can be ameliorated, at least temporarily, by tonification, a process of imparting energy into the system. This is deemed necessary for more durable, successful pain control. It can also add to the patients' sense of well being and decrease the malaise associated with any chronic disease, especially cancer.

Re-balancing Energy and Unblocking Energy Flow

Nutritional support as an aid in boosting immune response in cancer patients, along with minimizing the immune and white blood cell suppression that occurs with most chemotherapeutic agents, has been receiving greater attention and funding for research.. Kenneth Conklin, M.D., Ph.D., an anesthesiologist at UCLA working with the Oncology Department, reports gratifying results utilizing nutrition and supplements combined with energetic acupuncture.

Energetic acupuncture repletes energy level to the organism as a whole, reestablishes homeostasis by re-balancing energy distribution and un-blocking energy flow. This systems approach to deal with system wide patho-physiology can be complemented by distinct meridian acupuncture, which directs healing energy to specific organ pathology and is a routine approach in treating diseased organs such as liver, pancreas kidney, including those ravaged by cancers.

While the degree of beneficial results from acupuncture treatment is dependent on various clinical factors such as presenting symptoms, clinical staging, timing of the encounter in the course of the illness, areas of involvement, the answer to the opening question "can acupuncture help me?" is, in all probability, yes! It can help in the care of the cancer patient.

About the Author

Eugene Mak, MD is a Board Certified Oncologist and MARF (Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation) Board Member

http://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+In ... +Treatment

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I'm glad you dropped in to give us an update on Diana. Depending on the size of the tumor/tumor burden and how stubborn it is, the first round of chemo may not always get it all. The docs are being very aggressive with this next line of treatment for Diana and that is good news for her.

Our experience with two of her new drugs wasn't in that combo but, Navelbine is very easy on the system and Gemzar isn't too bad either. My husband did spike high fevers with the gemzar a few days after infusion, but they should be easy to treat with ice packs and some Tylenol. Just watch for the symptoms and at the first sign, jump on the treatment to keep the fevers under control. Not everyone has this reaction to gemzar though. Never did Avastin, so have no clue on that one.

Good luck to your dear sister on this next round of treatment and keep us posted.

Warm regards,


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I have been doing acupunture for about 6 months. It is suppose to help with side effects. I do anything that may help as long as there is no down side. I think the acupunture does help. I don't have any bad side effects, so somthing is working.

Stay positive, :)


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