Some breast cancer patients suffer with extremely uncomfortable side effects from their treatments, the cancer itself and from the breast cancer drugs. Extreme and frequent hot flushes and night sweats can be one of the more debilitating side effects.
Until recently, the only way to help those patients was with yet more drugs. The Oncology Team at Maidstone Hospital researched the benefits of ear acupuncture for alleviation of symptoms, and the results were amazing.
If only this could be funded, then many patients could benefit. That’s where Bill Murray and his family came in.
Susan Murray, a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother was also a very dear patient of the unit, but sadly lost her battle with breast cancer in June 2015. Susan’s husband Bill, along with his family, wanted to do something positive in Susan’s memory. So, through Breast Cancer Kent, the Murray family decided that they would like to fund the continual running of an ear acupuncture clinic to help other breast cancer patients of Kent in Susan’s name.
On 15th March 2016, the Susan Murray Ear Acupuncture Clinic was opened in the Maidstone Oncology Centre. It caters for patients with secondary breast cancer and there are plans to extend the service to those with primary breast cancer and those with prostate cancer too.
Funding has enabled two of our Nurse Specialists to train to NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) standards and so they are now able to offer this service within the clinic.
Here are some heartfelt messages of thanks from the clinic users:
“ The ear acupuncture clinic has been a breath of fresh air during the gruesome regime of chemotherapy. The treatment is relaxing, and the therapists are wonderful. It is something I look forward to every week”
“As a woman dealing with the side effects that come with the treatment of secondary breast cancer, I feel most privileged to have the chance of taking part in this acupuncture group. I found the process very easy, with only a second of slight discomfort when some of the pins were first placed. The music and relaxation time that follows is so calming, that a feeling of sheer exhaustion resulted in the first good night’s sleep in many months. My hot flushes have lessened in intensity and overall the continuing sessions have continued with a feeling of well-being, which I hope will stay constant.”
“I found it very beneficial for me, as after the 2nd session I noticed a big improvement with my hot flushes. I suffer from very bad hot flushes; my hair is constantly wet to the point that the perspiration runs down my face, and down the back of my neck, which is very embarrassing at the time when it happens. From suffering from multiple hot flushes during the day, this reduced to between 1 and 2 a day, and almost stopped occurring at night when I was trying to sleep. The acupuncture helped with my sleep at night, by relaxing me too, and both my family and my work colleagues noticed the change in my mood; I felt a lot calmer in myself. I would recommended this to anyone that suffers from hot flushes. I would also like to add that Emily, at the Maidstone Hospital, that ran the sessions was fantastic; she answered all the questions we had, and gave us good advice. Once again thank you for recommending me for the sessions and to Breast Cancer Kent for generously funding them”.
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