Research: THOMPSON and REILLY,

Listed in Issue 98

Abstract

THOMPSON and REILLY, Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital, 1053 Great Western Road, Glasgow, Scotland, G12 0XQ, UK, elizabeth.thompson@ubht.swest.nhs.uk, present a prospective observational study on the homeopathic treatment of symptoms of oestrogen withdrawal in breast cancer patients.

Background

Women with breast cancer are often treated with anti-oestrogen drugs which lead to a forced menopause. Homeopathy could potentially be a powerful way to manage the symptoms associated with this drastic change.

Methodology

45 patients entered the study. The most common presenting symptoms were hot flushes, mood disturbance, joint pain, and fatigue. The active intervention was an individualized homeopathic medicine.

Results

40 women completed the study. Significant improvement in mean symptom scores were seen over the study period and for the primary outcome 'the effect on daily living' scores. Symptoms other than hot flushes, such as fatigue and mood disturbance, appear to be helped. Significant improvements in anxiety, depression and quality of life were demonstrated over the study period.

Conclusion

The homeopathic approach appears to be clinically useful in the management of oestrogen withdrawal symptoms in women with breast cancer and improves mood disturbance. A placebo-controlled trial would be the next stage in this line of inquiry.

References

Thompson EA, Reilly D. The homeopathic approach to the treatment of symptoms of oestrogen withdrawal in breast cancer patients. A prospective observational study. Homeopathy 92 (3): 131-134, Jul 2003.

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