This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables are a useful way to look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. However, to get the most out of the tables, it’s important to understand some key concepts. Learn how to read a research table.
Introduction: Acupuncture uses small needles to apply pressure to specific points on the body.
Small randomized controlled trials have studied acupuncture and relief from hot flashes in breast cancer survivors and women never diagnosed with cancer. In these trials, women were randomly assigned to get true acupuncture or sham (fake) acupuncture. With sham acupuncture, the needles are placed at non-acupuncture points on the body.
To date, study findings are mixed. Some studies have shown acupuncture reduced hot flashes more than a sham treatment, while others have found no difference between the two.
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Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of different types of studies.
Study selection criteria: Randomized controlled trials comparing true acupuncture with sham acupuncture with at least 70 participants and meta-analyses.
Table note: Relative risk above 1 indicates increased risk. Relative risk below 1 indicates decreased risk.
Study Population(number of participants)
True Acupuncture Reduced Hot Flashes More Than Sham Acupuncture?
Randomized controlled trials
Ee et al. 
327women never diagnosed with cancer
Vincent et al. 
103women never diagnosed with cancer
de Luca et al. 
81women never diagnosed with cancer
Liljegren et al. 
74 breast cancer survivors
Deng et al. 
72breast cancer survivors
Dodin et al. 
Chiu et al. 
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