The role of acupuncture in cancer is in its adjunctive use in anesthesia,  post-operative pain control, and in aiding and hastening recovery from the side effects of the various therapies.  Acupuncture is effective for control of pain, of  local swelling post operatively, for of the resolution of hematoma and tissue swelling and for minimizing the use of medications and their attendant side effects.  In addition, acupuncture can be very effective in relieving the lymphedema which accompanies many types of cancer surgery.  Energetic acupuncture, an approach consisting of the use of needles with electricity and moxibustion, a form of local heating with herbs, impart a sense of well being and accelerate recovery.  In conjunction with nutritional support, these techniques are routinely used in some cancer institutions. 

Acupuncture can also be very effective to control the side effects of chemotherapy. Nausea and vomiting which commonly occurs can be controlled with acupuncture, and acupuncture can often be used to pretreat patients.  While the beneficial results from acupuncture are dependent upon many clinical factors, it can help in the care of the cancer patient.