Breast Cancer Patients Find Therapy in Yoga
Breast cancer patients who participate in yoga experience less stress and a higher quality of life compared to patients who do stretching exercises or who don't exercise according to a recent U.S. study.
AFP Relax reports that researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center studied 163 women with an average age of 53 who were undergoing radiation therapy for early onset through stage 3 breast cancer.
The patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups; yoga, simple stretching or no instruction in either. The women who were assigned to yoga or stretching participated in one-hour sessions three times a week for six weeks during the course of radiation therapy.
Patients were asked to report on their overall health and well-being at one, three and six months after treatment. They also participated in heart function and stress hormone level tests.
The patients who practiced yoga and stretching reported less fatigue than the non-exercise group, but the women who did yoga reported “greater benefits to physical functioning and general health,” according to the study.
The women practicing yoga also “were more likely to perceive positive life changes from their cancer experience than either other group.”