The Blossom Appeal

Blossom Appeal funds acupuncture therapy for breast cancer patients

3 October 2013: The Blossom Appeal is funding acupuncture therapy for patients from Paula Maycock, Deputy Acupuncture Project and Peter Mackereth, Clinical Lead for Complementary Health and Wellbeing at The Christiethe breast care units at North Manchester General and the Royal Oldham Hospital.

A series of 6 weekly sessions will be given to patients at the Victoria Unit at the Royal Oldham Hospital by Peter Mackereth, acupuncture specialist from The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

Peter, who is Clinical Lead for Complementary Health and Wellbeing at The Christie and a PhD researcher in acupuncture, explains: “We conducted a randomised controlled trial which proved conclusively that acupuncture can be extremely effective in combating the effects of fatigue often experienced by patients during and after treatment for breast cancer. The study was published in two peer-reviewed oncology journals.  We have also completed smaller projects which have identified that acupuncture can help with sleep problems, joint and nerve pain and hot flushes.

“We are not funded by the NHS so it’s fantastic to receive this additional boost from the Blossom Appeal.”

Dr Helen Lander, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We are thrilled that the excellent acupuncture service run by Peter Mackereth is now available locally for our Pennine patients. It is of vital importance that the troubling side effects of breast cancer treatments are optimally managed. We are very grateful to the Blossom Appeal for their generosity in funding this service.”

The Appeal supports the Breast Care Units at both hospitals by helping to provide better facilities for patients and new equipment that the NHS cannot afford.

Charity Treasurer and Macmillan Breast Care Nurse Specialist at North Manchester General Hospital, Frances Rosenberg commented: “We already fund complementary therapy sessions like aromatherapy massages for patients but we’re delighted to be able to extend this offer now to acupuncture. Research shows that it can be very effective at combating the side effects from both chemotherapy and medication.”

“Our aim is to make the patient’s journey that bit easier, and with NHS budgets under such scrutiny currently, this is exactly the sort of treatment which is not widely available on the health service but which can make a big difference to a patient’s quality of life.”