Effectiveness of acupuncture and related therapies for palliative care of cancer: overview of systematic reviews

Cancer is a major cause of disease burden worldwide. According to estimates from the International Agency for Research of Cancer1, the global adult population in 2012 included 14.1 million new cancer cases, 32.6 million existing cancer patients who had received a diagnosis within the previous 5 years and 8.2 million cancer deaths, accounting for 14.7% of all deaths. The incidence of cancer continues to increase. It is predicted that in 2035, approximately 24.0 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 14.6 million deaths will be attributable to cancer. This increasing cancer incidence and the continual improvement in cancer treatment will lead to an increase in the number of patients living with cancer. This will mandate progress in palliative care strategies for the control of symptoms related to cancer itself, as well as symptoms induced by cancer therapies.