Jump to content

Quality of Life, Fatigue and Chinese Medicine

Recommended Posts

Numerous research studies document that for those of us with Lung Cancer, the higher our Quality of Life, the longer our Survival Rates (See http://www.lungevity.org/l_community/viewtopic.php?t=37598).

Many of these studies include Fatigue as a Quality of Life factor; and a recent study shows that traditional Chinese Medicine can improve both Quality of Life and Fatigue levels:

Abstract: Randomized clinical trial: The Impact of Medical Qigong (traditional Chinese medicine) on fatigue, quality of life, side effects, mood status and inflammation of cancer patients. Sub-category: Quality-of-Life Management. Category: Patient Care. Meeting: 2008 ASCO Annual Meeting. Abstract No: 9565. Citation: J Clin Oncol 26: 2008 (May 20 suppl; abstr 9565). Author(s): B. Oh, P. Butow, B. Mullan, S. J. Clarke, P. Beale, D. Rosenthal.

Background: The quality of life (QOL) of cancer patients is often diminished due to the side effects of treatment and symptoms of the disease itself. Medical Qigong (MQ), coordination of gentle exercise and relaxation through meditation and breathing exercise based on the Chinese Medicine theory of energy channels, may improve health and mental wellbeing and reduce the symptoms of cancer patients. However, there have been few studies of MQ in the cancer setting, and none exploring its impact in a randomized clinical trial (RCT) on QOL, side effects (including fatigue), mood status and inflammation. This was a pilot study preceding a full RCT of this intervention.

Methods: Forty-three patients diagnosed with a range of cancers, were randomly assigned to two groups: a control group (n=21) that received usual health care and an intervention group (n=22) who participated in a MQ program for 10 weeks in addition to receiving usual health care at the hospital. Randomization was stratified by completion of cancer treatment (n=20) or under active cancer treatment (n=23). Patients completed measures before and after the program. Cancer related fatigue was measured by FACT-F, quality of life and symptoms were measured by the FACT-G, mood status by POMS. The inflammatory marker serum C-reactive protein (CRP) was also monitored serially.

Results: The Medical Qigong intervention group reported clinically significantly improved fatigue (t30 =2.67, p=0.012, mean difference=5.9) and overall QOL (t30 =1.22, p=0.017, mean difference =10.2) compared to the control group. Analysis of the FACT- G subscales revealed that satisfaction with sex life (t12 =2.38, p=0.035) was significantly higher in the MQ group. The MQ intervention also reduced side effects (nausea, pain and insomnia), mood and inflammation biomarker (CRP) but these differences were not statistically significant compared to the control group.

Conclusions: Data from the study suggests that MQ with usual health care can improve fatigue, satisfaction with sex life and QOL in cancer patients. This pilot study supports the use of MQ as an intervention for cancer patients. However, further research with a larger sample size is needed.

Source: http://www.asco.org/ASCO/Abstracts+%26+ ... ctID=32678

On a personal note: Since my dx in 01/07, I have suffered not cancer fatigue (as vs. chemo fatigue which I suffered lightly during active chemotherapy). In 11/07 I began Chinese acupuncture treatments (which use "energy channels"), accompanied by Chinese herbal medicines, primarily for insomnia, but also for temporary pain as a result of osteoporosis stress fractures.

At the time my tumor and enlarged lymph nodes were stable. Now (7 months later), all are growing and spreading (tumor increase from 2 cm. to 6 cm.), yet I am still experiencing no cancer fatigue. I have no way of knowing whether my acupuncture and herbal treatments are contributory, but this study certainly raises the question.

Submitted by Carole

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Carole,

I tried acupuncture once. On the advice of friends. As I was laying there cold with all those needles all over I realized something THIS WAS NOT FOR ME!!!! You are suppose to enjoy it and relax but it totaly terrified me. I'm a BIG BABY when it comes to needles!!!! I'm not doing that again unless my Onc says that I have to do it. I hope that it helps others that isn't such a big baby.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Dannie.

My daughter also has a condition that acupuncture is supposed to help and her response is the same as yours: "No way am I letting anyone stick needles in me!" :D

They're so tiny and shallow that I don't even feel them and given my lack of pain and fatigue, "No way am I going to stop!" :D


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.