Relieve Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients with Mind-Body Exercise
By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.
“mindfulness has both direct and indirect effects on the fatigue of breast cancer survivors and that mindfulness can be used to more effectively reduce their fatigue.” – Kaori Ikeuchi
Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But breast cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with breast cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But surviving breast cancer carries with it a number of problems. Anxiety, depression, fatigue and insomnia are common symptoms in the aftermath of surviving breast cancer. These symptoms markedly reduce the quality of life of the patients.
Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to relieve chronic pain. It can also help treat the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress, sleep disturbance, fear, and anxiety and depression. Mind-body practices such as Tai Chi or Qigong, and yoga have been shown to be effective in improving the psychological symptoms occurring in breast cancer patients. The research has been accumulating. So, it makes sense to review and summarize what has been learned.
In today’s Research News article “A Meta-Analysis: Intervention Effect of Mind-Body Exercise on Relieving Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8275388/ ) Liu and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of mind-body practices in relieving the chronic fatigue that occurs in breast cancer survivors. They identified 17 published randomized controlled trials that included a total of 1133 breast cancer patient. The mind-body practices employed in the published trials were yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigon.
They report that the published research found that mind-body practices significantly reduced the fatigue of patients with breast cancer. They further found that Tai Chi practice produced significantly greater reductions in fatigue than yoga practice and that practicing for over 40 minutes duration produces greater reductions in fatigue than shorter practice durations. Hence, the published research to date suggests that practicing yoga and particularly Tai Chi can successfully reduce cancer-related fatigue in patients with breast cancer. This is important as fatigue greatly interferes with the quality of life of the patients and their ability to reengage in normal daily activities. Mind-body practices, then, can improve the lives of breast cancer patients.
So, relieve cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients with mind-body exercise.
“Mindfulness-and in particular nonreactivity, nonjudging, and describing-may be a personal resource for women with metastatic breast cancer in coping with complex symptoms of this life-threatening illness.” – Lauren A Zimmaro
CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies
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Liu, C., Qin, M., Zheng, X., Chen, R., & Zhu, J. (2021). A Meta-Analysis: Intervention Effect of Mind-Body Exercise on Relieving Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2021, 9980940. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/9980940
This paper aims to systematically evaluate the intervention effect of mind-body exercise on cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients.
Databases including PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science, CNKI, Wanfang Data, and SINOMED were retrieved to collect randomized controlled trials on the effects of mind-body exercise on relieving cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients. The retrieval period started from the founding date of each database to January 6, 2021. Cochrane bias risk assessment tools were used to evaluate the methodological quality assessment of the included literature, and RevMan 5.3 software was used for meta-analyses.
17 pieces of researches in 16 papers were included with a total of 1133 patients. Compared with the control group, mind-body exercise can improve cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients. The combined effect size SMD = 0.59, 95% CI was [0.27, 0.92], p < 0.00001. Doing Tai Chi for over 40 minutes each time with an exercise cycle of ≤6 weeks can improve cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients more significantly. Sensitivity analysis shows that the combined effect results of the meta-analysis were relatively stable.
Mind-body exercise can effectively improve cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients.