Steve Athos | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Patient Stories

Before Steve Athos was diagnosed with bowel cancer he used combat sports to help with stress and relieve headaches. Since undergoing surgery in March and starting chemo, he’s been looking for other ways to deal with pain and nausea and has found relief in acupuncture.

Steve said: “When I became a patient at Lifehouse I attended an induction tour of everything the hospital offers to assist cancer patients with their treatment, then I started a checklist and worked my way through. First physical fitness, massage, then reflexology. Then I came to acupuncture. I was hesitant because I didn’t want another needle in me! But I thought, I’ve got nothing to lose.

“In my case, the very first treatment was amazing. I came in with a dull but never ending headache that would occasionally transform into a migraine and the nausea I had was constant. None of the medication I was taking seemed to get rid of these side effects. I left with no nausea, and by the end of the evening the headache was gone. Now I have regular treatments, I’m almost finished my chemo, the headaches and nausea are rare, and no migraines. I cannot explain it but it works for me, how and why … I don’t know but I am a true believer!”

Lifehouse acupuncturist, Suzanne Grant, sees these results with many of her patients: “Treating Steve was a complete joy. When he arrived he admitted he was completely sceptical that there would be any change. We have had a good laugh since at how he is now a complete convert and enjoys his acupuncture sessions.

“In fact, of all the investigated effects of acupuncture on cancer-related or chemotherapy-related symptoms the positive effect of acupuncture on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is the most convincing. There has been study after study showing acupuncture to be effective in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.” [For more information, click here].

“Not everyone gets instant transformation like Steve but usually acupuncture will make things better, reduce the amount of medication needed and generally improve quality of life,” Suzanne said.

Steve is now up to his tenth round of chemo and he and Suzanne have a good system in place. He sees her for acupuncture an hour before chemo, which makes the nausea much easier to cope with. Steve said: “Acupuncture is the last thing I expected in a cancer hospital. It’s left me amazed.”

To make an appointment to see Suzanne, contact the LivingRoom on 8514 0038 or email livingroom@lh.org.au.

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