Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I was diagnosed with a right kidney tumor about 4 months ago. The tumor is too small to tell whether it is benign or malignant. I started acupuncture about a month ago because of back pain. During one treatment on my back in the right mid-back, the needle stick was very painful. It is possible to stick an acupuncture needle too deeply and puncture the kidney?
A: Tumors can be serious conditions and require care from proper licensed oncologist or physicians. I urge you to remain under care of these professionals. In order to integrate adjunct treatments you should consult with your primary physicians and obtain approval before you seek such treatments. I would also urge you to inform your acupuncturist of your current condition. Licensed or properly trained practitioners know the proper treatment protocols for back pain and will know the proper depth of the needle insertions. Inform your practitioner of the discomfort and discuss with them alternative approaches.