There is a long tradition of using acupuncture to help manage the effects of cancer-related pain. The American Cancer Society published a great article about the effectiveness of acupressure in the ear (often called auricular acupressure.)
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture. Rather than using needles, acupressure uses small taped on beads to specific points in the ear. There are over 300 points located in the ear!
The research discussed at the American Cancer Society is very promising...
"...research has shown that women who performed APA [auricular point acupressure] at home for 7 days had a 51% reduction in breast cancer-related pain. After 4 weeks of treatment, they had an even greater decrease in pain intensity (71%)."
In addition, the research journal Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America published findings stating about acupuncture and pain relief. For example, through brain imaging it has been, "demonstrated that acupuncture stimulation moderates a wide network of brain regions", including sensory regions.
Most importantly the authors of the paper go on to state acupuncture reduces the need for, "drugs such as morphine, pirinitramide, and alfentanil."
I have been involved with working with patients diagnosed with cancer for years. I love seeing the growing acceptance of acupuncture as one tool to help those with cancer-related pain.