Relieve the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment with Yoga

Relieve the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Cancer patients who practice yoga as therapy during their treatment often refer to their yoga practice as a life-saver. The healing power of yoga helps both cancer patients and cancer survivors. No matter how sick from treatments and no matter how little energy, many find that the one thing that would bring relief were a gentle set of therapeutic yoga poses geared for cancer patients.” – Yoga U

 

Receiving a diagnosis of 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. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. Yoga practice is a form of mindfulness training that has been shown to be beneficial for cancer patients.  In today’s Research News article “Yoga for the Management of Cancer Treatment-Related Toxicities.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5901971/ ), Lin and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the effectiveness of yoga practice for the relief of the problematic effects of cancer treatments.

 

They review 24 published clinical trials. Based upon this literature, they conclude that yoga practice helps relieve the sleep disturbance that occurs in the majority of cancer patients. They also report that gentle yoga practice, such as Hatha yoga, helps relieve the physical fatigue and cognitive impairments (known as “chemobrain”) that occurs in the most cancer patients. Gentle yoga practice also appears to help relieve the psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, and mood disorders that are almost universal symptoms of cancer diagnosis. Finally, they report that gentle yoga practice helps relieve the musculoskeletal pain, muscle aches, and total physical discomfort that can accompany cancer treatment.

 

These findings suggest that yoga practice has a wide array of positive physical, psychological, and emotional benefits for cancer patients. They suggest that gentle forms of yoga are probably best. This would make sense given the compromised physical conditions of most yoga patients. The exact mechanisms by which yoga practice produces these benefits has not been adequately researched and identified. But, yoga appears to improve responses to stress, the immune response, and the cardiovascular system which may be responsible. Regardless, yoga practice should be recommended to help relieve the suffering and promote recovery of patients with cancer.

 

So, relieve the side effects of cancer treatment with yoga

 

“As with many types of complementary therapy one of the main reasons that people with cancer use yoga is because it makes them feel good. .  .  . Generally, it can help to lift your mood and enhance well being. Some people with cancer say it helps calm their mind so that they can cope better with their cancer and its treatment. Others say it helps to reduce symptoms and side effects such as pain, tiredness, sleep problems and depression.” – Cancer Research UK

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Lin, P.-J., Peppone, L. J., Janelsins, M. C., Mohile, S. G., Kamen, C. S., Kleckner, I. R., … Mustian, K. M. (2018). Yoga for the Management of Cancer Treatment-Related Toxicities. Current Oncology Reports, 20(1), 5. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11912-018-0657-2

 

Abstract

Purpose of Review

To (1) explain what yoga is, (2) summarize published literature on the efficacy of yoga for managing cancer treatment-related toxicities, (3) provide clinical recommendations on the use of yoga for oncology professionals, and (4) suggest promising areas for future research.

Recent Findings

Based on a total of 24 phase II and one phase III clinical trials, low-intensity forms of yoga, specifically gentle hatha and restorative, are feasible, safe, and effective for treating sleep disruption, cancer-related fatigue, cognitive impairment, psychosocial distress, and musculoskeletal symptoms in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation and cancer survivors.

Summary

Clinicians should consider prescribing yoga for their patients suffering with these toxicities by referring them to qualified yoga professionals. More definitive phase III clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings and to investigate other types, doses, and delivery modes of yoga for treating cancer-related toxicities in patients and survivors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5901971/

 

Improve Balance in Breast Cancer Patients with Qigong Practice

Improve Balance in Breast Cancer Patients with Qigong Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“In terms of qigong influence on my cancer, a bone density scan carried some months ago has shown that, not only have I not lost further bone material, but, bone density has improved and there is growth of new material. I attribute this to my qigong practice since this is beyond the power of medication to effect this kind of outcome.” – Jean Caron

 

Receiving a diagnosis of 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 cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. Cancer and its treatment often results in bone loss making the individual more vulnerable to fractures especially after falls.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. Tai Chi or Qigong practice has been shown to improve quality of life, reduce fatigue, lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, improve balance and reduce the likelihood of falls. It is not known, however, if Qigong practice can help to strengthen bones and reduce the likelihood of fractures.

 

In today’s Research News article “Bone Mineral Density, Balance Performance, Balance Self-Efficacy, and Falls in Breast Cancer Survivors With and Without Qigong Training: An Observational Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5950950/ ), Fong and colleagues recruited breast cancer survivors who had undergone standard treatments and separated them into two groups; those who performed Qigong practice for at least 3 months and those who did not practice. They also recruited a healthy control group that did not engage in Qigong practice. The participants were measured for whole body, hip, and arm bone density, balance, history of falls and fear of falling.

 

They found that the Breast cancer group that performed Qigong practice had significantly better balance and lower fear of falling than those who did not practice. In fact, those who practiced were equivalent to healthy controls in balance and fear of falling. It was those who didn’t practice who were deficient. They did not find differences between the groups in bone density. So, although Qigong practice did not appear to strengthen bones in breast cancer survivors, it did appear to improve balance and reduce their fear of falling making fractures less likely.

 

Falls and the resultant bone fractures are a significant threat not only to the quality of life of breast cancer survivors but also to their longevity. Hence, the benefits of improvements in balance for these patients should not be underappreciated. They could well lead to longer and better lives.

 

So, improve balance in breast cancer patients with qigong practice.

 

“Tai Chi may lead to better physical balance and stronger circulation of blood and energy. Tai Chi is a complimentary method for both preparing and recovering from surgery. Practicing with a positive, motivated group of people who are interested in empowering themselves with mind/body tools is a great support group for people who like to take an active role in their journey to better health.” – Cancer Wellness TV

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Shirley S. M. Fong, Anna W. M. Choi, W. S. Luk, Timothy T. T. Yam, Joyce C. Y. Leung, Joanne W. Y. Chung. Bone Mineral Density, Balance Performance, Balance Self-Efficacy, and Falls in Breast Cancer Survivors With and Without Qigong Training: An Observational Study. Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Mar; 17(1): 124–130. Published online 2017 Jan 4. doi: 10.1177/1534735416686687

 

Abstract

Purpose: A deterioration in bone strength and balance performance after breast cancer treatment can result in injurious falls. Therefore, interventions need to be developed to improve the bone strength and balance ability of breast cancer survivors. This cross-sectional exploratory study aimed to compare the bone mineral density (BMD), balance performance, balance self-efficacy, and number of falls between breast cancer survivors who practiced qigong, breast cancer survivors who did not practice qigong, and healthy individuals. Methods: The study included 40 breast cancer survivors with more than 3 months of qigong experience, 17 breast cancer survivors with no qigong experience, and 36 healthy controls. All the participants underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans to measure their lumbar spine, total hip, femoral neck, and total radius BMDs. The participants also underwent a timed one-leg stand test to measure their single-leg standing balance. The participants’ balance self-efficacy was assessed using the activities-specific balance confidence scale, and the number of falls experienced by each participant was assessed in a face-to-face interview. Results: The lumbar spine, total hip, femoral neck, and total radius BMDs were similar between the 3 groups (P > .05). The breast cancer-qigong group outperformed the breast cancer-control group by 27.3% when they performed the one-leg stand test on a foam surface (P = .025), and they also had a higher balance self-efficacy score (P = .006). Nevertheless, the numbers of falls were comparable between the 3 groups (P > .05). Conclusion: Qigong may be a suitable exercise for improving the balance performance and balance self-efficacy of breast cancer survivors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5950950/

Manage Stress in Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

Manage Stress in Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“For many people who have been diagnosed with cancer — or have been diagnosed with advanced cancer and are facing end-of-life issues — their mind is so full of worries about the future… that they can’t fully be aware and enjoy the time they have now. Emotional distress, in turn, can have a significant impact on the course of the illness. Depression has been shown to hasten decline in cancer patients, and also to increase the risk of death. By reducing stress and negative emotions, mindfulness programs could potentially play an important role in the treatment process. [Cancer] is very demanding on the body and the mind, so the aim of this program is to help people learn ways to focus and calm their mind, and live more fully in the present moment so they can better manage difficult thoughts and difficult feelings,” – Joanna Bell

 

Receiving a diagnosis of 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. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue and insomnia. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. It is estimated that 15 million adults and children with a history of cancer are alive in the United States today. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. “Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are also at greater risk for developing second cancers and other health conditions.” National Cancer Survivors Day. It is estimated that nearly a third of breast cancer survivors have major disturbances of sleep that adds to the stress and damages recovery.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Intervention for Cancer Care: A Systematic Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871193/ ), Rush and Sharma review and summarize the findings of the published research on the effectiveness of one particular frequently used mindfulness training technique,  Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in reducing stress in cancer patients. MBSR is generally a 8-week program including meditation, yoga, and body scan, combined with home practice.

 

They identified 13 published research studies, 8 of which involved breast cancer. They found that the studies indicate that MBSR is effective in reducing the psychological and physiological responses to the stress of cancer and its treatment. Since, this stress produced can interfere with the patients ability of withstand treatment and its’ psychological consequences, reducing stress responding may be greatly beneficial to the patients’ health and well-being. Hence, the published literature supports the use of MBSR training for patients diagnosed with cancer, improving their physiological and psychological responses to the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. This can improve quality of life with cancer and hopefully lead to improved health and survival.

 

So, manage stress in cancer patients with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

 

“Women who had the most stress before the study started benefited the most from the Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction for Breast Cancer program. The results of this study echo results from other small studies showing that mindfulness-based meditation can help ease the stress, anxiety, fear, and depression that often come along with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.” – BreastCancer.org

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Rush, S. E., & Sharma, M. (2017). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Intervention for Cancer Care: A Systematic Review. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 22(2), 348–360. http://doi.org/10.1177/2156587216661467

 

Abstract

Cancer is acknowledged as a source of stress for many individuals, often leading to suffering, which can be long-lasting. Mindfulness-based stress reduction offers an effective way of reducing stress among cancer patients by combining mindfulness meditation and yoga in an 8-week training program. The purpose of this study was to inspect studies from October 2009 to November 2015 and examine whether mindfulness-based stress reduction can be utilized as a viable method for managing stress among cancer patients. A systematic search from Medline, CINAHL, and Alt HealthWatch databases was conducted for quantitative articles involving mindfulness-based stress reduction interventions targeting cancer patients. A total of 13 articles met the inclusion criteria. Of these 13 studies, 9 demonstrated positive changes in either psychological or physiological outcomes related to anxiety and/or stress, with 4 describing mixed results. Despite the limitations, mindfulness-based stress reduction appears to be promising for stress management among cancer patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871193/

Improve Psychological and Physical Health During Cancer Treatment with Yoga

Improve Psychological and Physical Health During Cancer Treatment with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yoga for cancer patients—what better way to manage anxiety, gain strength, increase flexibility, and create feelings of well-being! A growing body of research points to the potential of yoga for supporting cancer patients, both during and after treatment.” – Tari Prinster

 

Receiving a diagnosis of 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. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. Yoga practice is a form of mindfulness training that has been shown to be beneficial for cancer patients. In today’s Research News article “Review of Yoga Therapy During Cancer Treatment.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5777241/ ), Danhauer and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies on the application of yoga practice to the treatment of cancer patients undergoing treatment. They identified 12 non-randomized and 13 randomized published clinical trials.

 

They found that the research reports that yoga practice improves the psychological and physical health of cancer patients undergoing treatment. These include psychological improvements in anxiety, depression, mood, negative affect, relaxation, overall mental health, cognition, spiritual well-being, social support, self-efficacy, and coping, and physical improvements in overall health, physical quality of life, fatigue, invigoration, sleep, most-bothersome symptom, and upregulation of genes involved in immunity.

 

These are impressive results that strongly suggest that yoga practice is of great benefit to cancer patients undergoing treatment. It appears to be safe, with few if any negative side effects, be acceptable for patients undergoing treatment, and to improve the patients’ mental and physical health.

 

Yoga practice is generally complex, involving a number of components including, postures, meditation, breathing exercises, and chanting. It is unclear from the research which ones or which combinations of these components are responsible for the benefits. It remains for future research to better clarify how yoga functions to produce these remarkable benefits for cancer patients. Such a clarification could lead to improved and more targeted practices.

 

So, improve psychological and physical health during cancer treatment with yoga.

 

“Cancer patients who practice yoga as therapy during their treatment often refer to their yoga practice as a life-saver. The healing power of yoga helps both cancer patients and cancer survivors. No matter how sick from treatments and no matter how little energy, many find that the one thing that would bring relief were a gentle set of therapeutic yoga poses geared for cancer patients.” – Yoga U

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Danhauer, S. C., Addington, E. L., Sohl, S. J., Chaoul, A., & Cohen, L. (2017). Review of Yoga Therapy During Cancer Treatment. Supportive Care in Cancer : Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 25(4), 1357–1372. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-016-3556-9

 

Abstract

Purpose

Reviews of yoga research that distinguish results of trials conducted during (versus after) cancer treatment are needed to guide future research and clinical practice. We therefore conducted a review of non-randomized studies and randomized controlled trials of yoga interventions for children and adults undergoing treatment for any cancer type.

Methods

Studies were identified via research databases and reference lists. Inclusion criteria: (1) children or adults undergoing cancer treatment; (2) intervention stated as yoga or component of yoga; and (3) publication in English in peer-reviewed journals through October 2015. Exclusion criteria: (1) samples receiving hormone therapy only; (2) interventions involving only meditation; and (3) yoga delivered within broader cancer recovery or mindfulness-based stress reduction programs.

Results

Results of non-randomized (adult: n=8, pediatric: n=4) and randomized controlled trials (adult: n=13, pediatric: n=0) conducted during cancer treatment are summarized separately by age group. Findings most consistently support improvement in psychological outcomes (e.g., depression, distress, anxiety). Several studies also found that yoga enhanced quality of life, though further investigation is needed to clarify domain-specific efficacy (e.g., physical, social, cancer-specific). Regarding physical and biomedical outcomes, evidence increasingly suggests that yoga ameliorates sleep and fatigue; additional research is needed to advance preliminary findings for other treatment sequelae and stress/immunity biomarkers.

Conclusions

Among adults undergoing cancer treatment, evidence supports recommending yoga for improving psychological outcomes, with potential for also improving physical symptoms. Evidence is insufficient to evaluate the efficacy of yoga in pediatric oncology. We describe suggestions for strengthening yoga research methodology to inform clinical practice guidelines.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5777241/

 

Improve Sleep in Breast Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

Improve Sleep in Breast Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“That MBSR [mindfulness-based stress reduction] can produce similar improvements to CBT-I [cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia] and that both groups can effectively reduce stress and mood disturbance expands the available treatment options for insomnia in cancer patients,” – Sheila Garland

 

Receiving a diagnosis of 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. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue and insomnia. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. It is estimated that 15 million adults and children with a history of cancer are alive in the United States today. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. “Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are also at greater risk for developing second cancers and other health conditions.” National Cancer Survivors Day. It is estimated that nearly a third of breast cancer survivors have major disturbances of sleep that adds to the stress and damages recovery.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. In today’s Research News article “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, Mindfulness, and Yoga in Patients with Breast Cancer with Sleep Disturbance: A Literature Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5802619/ ), Zeichner and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the application of mindfulness training, yoga, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) for the treatment of sleep disturbance in breast cancer patients.

 

They report that the research demonstrates that all three approaches are effective in reducing sleep disturbance in breast cancer patients with efficacies equivalent to those of drug treatments but with fewer adverse side effects. They report that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) has been more consistently shown to be effective than mindfulness training or yoga practice. But CBT-I has greater problems with long-term patient compliance, greater costs, and a relative lack of service providers. Mindfulness training particularly Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs and yoga practice are effective in relieving insomnia and are lower cost, higher compliance, and more available options.

 

So, improve sleep in breast cancer patients with mindfulness.

 

“Studies have shown mindfulness-based stress reduction can be effective in alleviating anxiety and depression, decreasing long-term emotional and physical side effects of treatments and improving the quality of sleep in breast cancer patients. Scientists caution, however that sustained benefit requires ongoing mindfulness practice.” – Breast Cancer Research Foundation

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Simon B Zeichner, Rachel L Zeichner, Keerthi Gogineni, Sharon Shatil, Octavian Ioachimescu. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, Mindfulness, and Yoga in Patients With Breast Cancer with Sleep Disturbance: A Literature Review. Breast Cancer (Auckl) 2017; 11: 1178223417745564. Published online 2017 Dec 7. doi: 10.1177/1178223417745564

 

Abstract

The number of patients with breast cancer diagnosed with sleep disturbance has grown substantially within the United States over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, there have been significant improvements in the psychological treatment of sleep disturbance in patients with breast cancer. More specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), mindfulness, and yoga have shown to be 3 promising treatments with varying degrees of benefit, supporting data, and inherent limitations. In this article, we will outline the treatment approach for sleep disturbance in patients with breast cancer and conduct a comprehensive review of CBT-I, mindfulness, and yoga as they pertain to this patient population.

Conclusions

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and sleep disturbance is one of the most common complaints among women with this diagnosis. Interventions to improve sleep could improve QOL and productivity and could reduce comorbidities and decrease use of health care resources. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, mindfulness, and yoga are 3 behavioral health interventions that have been recommended in the treatment of sleep disturbance in patients with cancer. Depending on cancer disease severity, nonpharmacologic approaches may be more beneficial because efficacy appears to be similar to pharmacological approaches, patients can continue to implement behavioral strategies long after active treatment has ended, and there are fewer adverse effects.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5802619/

Improve Physical and Psychological Well-Being with Cancer with Yoga

Improve Physical and Psychological Well-Being with Cancer with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“For those enduring chemotherapy and radiation, yoga for cancer provides a means to strengthen the body, boost the immune system, and produce a much-sought-after feeling of well-being. For those recovering from surgery, such as that for breast cancer, yoga can help restore motion and flexibility in a gentle, balanced manner.” – Yoga U

 

Receiving a diagnosis of 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. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. It is estimated that 15 million adults and children with a history of cancer are alive in the United States today. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. “Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are also at greater risk for developing second cancers and other health conditions.” National Cancer Survivors Day.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. In today’s Research News article “Yoga into cancer care: A review of the evidence-based research.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2018;volume=11;issue=1;spage=3;epage=29;aulast=Agarwal), Agarwal and Maroko-Afek review and summarize the published research literature on the effects of yoga practice on the physical and psychological symptoms of cancer diagnosis. They found 138 published studies with patients suffering from cancer and cancer treatment-related symptoms and side effects.

 

They found that yoga practice had widespread positive benefits for the psychological state and quality of life of the patients including reductions in anxiety, depression, anger, stress, PTSD symptoms, fear of reoccurrence, delirium, memory and concentration problems, and increases in self-esteem and social function. They also found that the literature demonstrated that yoga practice reduced a wide variety of physical symptoms of cancer or cancer treatment, including cardiovascular and pulmonary problems, inflammation, sleep and sexual dysfunctions, urinary and bladder problems, and skin and hair problems.

 

Hence, the published research makes a compelling case for the addition of yoga practice to the usual treatment of cancer. It is a safe, effective, and inexpensive treatment, with profound benefits for the psychological and physical health and quality of life of cancer patients.

 

So, improve physical and psychological well-being with cancer with yoga.

 

“Yoga for cancer patients—what better way to manage anxiety, gain strength, increase flexibility, and create feelings of well-being! A growing body of research points to the potential of yoga for supporting cancer patients, both during and after treatment.” – Tari Prinster

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Agarwal RP, Maroko-Afek A. Yoga into cancer care: A review of the evidence-based research. Int J Yoga 2018;11:3-29

 

Abstract

To cope with cancer and its treatment-related side effects and toxicities, people are increasingly using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Consequently, integrative oncology, which combines conventional therapies and evidence-based CAM practices, is an emerging discipline in cancer care. The use of yoga as a CAM is proving to be beneficial and increasingly gaining popularity. An electronic database search (PubMed), through December 15, 2016, revealed 138 relevant clinical trials (single-armed, nonrandomized, and randomized controlled trials) on the use of yoga in cancer patients. A total of 10,660 cancer patients from 20 countries were recruited in these studies. Regardless of some methodological deficiencies, most of the studies reported that yoga improved the physical and psychological symptoms, quality of life, and markers of immunity of the patients, providing a strong support for yoga’s integration into conventional cancer care. This review article presents the published clinical research on the prevalence of yoga’s use in cancer patients so that oncologists, researchers, and the patients are aware of the evidence supporting the use of this relatively safe modality in cancer care.

http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2018;volume=11;issue=1;spage=3;epage=29;aulast=Agarwal

Improve Cancer Survivor Quality of Life with Exercise or Mindfulness

Improve Cancer Survivor Quality of Life with Exercise or Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“One of the main reasons people with cancer use meditation is to help them to feel better. Meditation can reduce anxiety and stress. It might also help control problems such as: pain, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, feeling sick, high blood pressure.” – Cancer Research UK

 

Receiving a diagnosis of 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. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. It is estimated that 15 million adults and children with a history of cancer are alive in the United States today. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. “Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are also at greater risk for developing second cancers and other health conditions.” National Cancer Survivors Day.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. In today’s Research News article “Review of systematic reviews of non-pharmacological interventions to improve quality of life in cancer survivors.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5719270/ ), Duncan and colleagues summarize the published scientific reviews of randomized controlled trials on the effects of non-drug interventions on the quality of life of adult cancer survivors. The interventions included fell into a number of categories including physical (e.g. aerobic exercise, yoga), psychological education,  peer support, and mind-body therapies (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, relaxation training).

 

They discovered 21 published reviews of 362 randomized controlled trials. They found that the literature supported the efficacy of aerobic exercise, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in improving the quality of life in cancer survivors. Hence, published scientific randomized controlled trials of non-drug treatment approaches demonstrate that the quality of life of cancer survivors can be improved with exercise, CBT, and mindfulness practices such as MBSR and yoga.

 

It was not reported how these practices might improve quality of life in cancer survivors. But, it can be speculated that because cancer treatments are physically demanding and of themselves produce physical debilitation, that exercise is a useful countermeasure to help overcome the physical losses occurring in treatment. It can also be speculated that mindfulness training may be helpful by improving the survivor’s ability to regulate the emotions produced by a cancer diagnosis and its treatment. These include anxiety, depression, fear, catastrophizing etc. By improving the ability to feel these emotions but react to them adaptively and thereby not amplifying them, the survivors may help to improve their emotional well-being and as a result their quality of life.

 

So, improve cancer survivor quality of life with exercise or mindfulness.

 

“We already know that psychosocial interventions like mindfulness meditation will help you feel better mentally, but now for the first time we have evidence that they can also influence key aspects of your biology,” – Linda Carlson

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Duncan, M., Moschopoulou, E., Herrington, E., Deane, J., Roylance, R., Jones, L., … Bhui, K. (2017). Review of systematic reviews of non-pharmacological interventions to improve quality of life in cancer survivors. BMJ Open, 7(11), e015860. http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-015860

 

Strengths and limitations of this study

  • This is a systematic review of reviews and evidence synthesis of non-pharmacological interventions in cancer survivors.
  • Longer term studies are needed and studies of greater methodological quality that adopt similar reporting standards.
  • Definitions of survivor varied and more studies are needed for different types of cancer, and specifically for patients who have poor quality of life.
  • More studies are needed that investigate educational, online and multidisciplinary team-based interventions.
  • This review has some limitations in the methodology. Studies not in English and grey literature were not included. This was a review of reviews: we did not review individual studies focused on specific cancers or stage, and we did not reassess the quality of the primary studies included in each review.

 

Abstract

Objectives

Over two million people in the UK are living with and beyond cancer. A third report diminished quality of life.

Design

A review of published systematic reviews to identify effective non-pharmacological interventions to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors.

Data sources

Databases searched until May 2017 included PubMed, Cochrane Central, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Web of Science, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and PsycINFO.

Study selection

Published systematic reviews of randomised trials of non-pharmacological interventions for people living with and beyond cancer were included; included reviews targeted patients aged over 18. All participants had already received a cancer diagnosis. Interventions located in any healthcare setting, home or online were included. Reviews of alternative therapies or those non-English reports were excluded. Two researchers independently assessed titles, abstracts and the full text of papers, and independently extracted the data.

Outcomes

The primary outcome of interest was any measure of global (overall) quality of life.

Analytical methods

Quality assessment assessing methdological quality of systematic reviews (AMSTAR) and narrative synthesis, evaluating effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions and their components.

Results

Of 14 430 unique titles, 21 were included in the review of reviews. There was little overlap in the primary papers across these reviews. Thirteen reviews covered mixed tumour groups, seven focused on breast cancer and one focused on prostate cancer. Face-to-face interventions were often combined with online, telephone and paper-based reading materials. Interventions included physical, psychological or behavioural, multidimensional rehabilitation and online approaches. Yoga specifically, physical exercise more generally, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programmes showed benefit in terms of quality of life.

Conclusions

Exercise-based interventions were effective in the short (less than 3–8 months) and long term. CBT and MBSR also showed benefits, especially in the short term. The evidence for multidisciplinary, online and educational interventions was equivocal.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5719270/

Improve Mental and Physical Health of Breast Cancer Survivors with Mindfulness

Improve Mental and Physical Health of Breast Cancer Survivors with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness-based meditation can help ease the stress, anxiety, fear, and depression that often come along with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.” – Breastcancer.org

 

About 12.5% of women in the U.S. develop invasive breast cancer over their lifetimes and every year about 40,000 women die. Indeed, more women in the U.S. die from breast cancer than from any other cancer, besides lung cancer. Breast cancer diagnosis, however, is not always a death sentence. Death rates have been decreasing for decades from improved detection and treatment of breast cancer. Five-year survival rates are now at around 95%. The improved survival rates mean that more women are now living with cancer.

 

Surviving cancer, however, carries with it a number of problems. “Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are also at greater risk for developing second cancers and other health conditions.” (National Cancer Survivors Day). Also, breast cancer survivors can have to deal with a heightened fear of reoccurrence. This is particularly true with metastatic cancer. Additionally, cancer survivors frequently suffer from anxiety, depression, mood disturbance, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sleep disturbance, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, loss of personal control, impaired quality of life, an alteration of their body image, and psychiatric symptoms which have been found to persist even ten years after remission. So, safe and effective treatments for the symptoms in breast cancer and the physical and psychological effects of the treatments are needed.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with general cancer recovery and breast cancer recovery. Mindfulness helps to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depressionYoga practice has also been shown to be helpful with the residual symptoms and the psychological and physical ability to deal with cancer treatment. The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program includes meditation, body scan, and yoga. So, it would likely be of great benefit for women with breast cancer during and after treatment.

 

In today’s Research News article “Examination of Broad Symptom Improvement Resulting From Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5012660/ ), Lengacher and colleagues recruited women with Stage 0 to III breast cancer who had been diagnosed within the last 2 years. They were randomly assigned to receive usual care or usual care plus a 6-week, 2-hour, once a week program of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The MBSR group was encouraged to practice at home for 15 to 45 minutes daily. They were measured before and after treatment and 6-weeks later for pain, fatigue, quality of life, anxiety, depression, perceived stress, concerns about recurrence, and clinical history of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Participation rates were high with 91% of the original participants completing the program.

 

They found that MBSR participation produced significant symptom improvements that were generally maintained for the following 6 weeks. The MBSR group had significantly greater reductions in anxiety, fear of recurrence overall, and fear of recurrence problems and physical symptoms of fatigue severity and fatigue interference. They also found that the women who had the greatest levels of stress at the beginning of the training benefited the most from it, with significantly greater reductions in fear of recurrence and fatigue.

 

MBSR has been shown in other healthy and ill groups to reduce anxiety, fatigue, and stress. So, it is good to see that MBSR is effective for this highly compromised and stressed group. The trial did not have an active control condition, leaving open the possibility of bias. Future research should include and active control, perhaps exercise. Regardless, the results are very encouraging and suggest that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) may be an excellent additional treatment for women with breast cancer improving their mental and physical health.

 

So, improve mental and physical health of breast cancer survivors with Mindfulness.

 

“The most widely researched meditation program is called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction or MBSR. It combines a variety of techniques, including body scan, sitting meditation, and gentle and mindful yoga. Studies of MBSR in women with breast cancer show that the practice can have a strong positive impact on mental health and lower levels of hormones that cause stress.” – LBBC.org

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Lengacher, C. A., Reich, R. R., Paterson, C. L., Ramesar, S., Park, J. Y., Alinat, C., … Kip, K. E. (2016). Examination of Broad Symptom Improvement Resulting From Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 34(24), 2827–2834. http://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2015.65.7874

 

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this randomized trial was to evaluate the efficacy of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Breast Cancer (MBSR[BC]) program in improving psychological and physical symptoms and quality of life among breast cancer survivors (BCSs) who completed treatment. Outcomes were assessed immediately after 6 weeks of MBSR(BC) training and 6 weeks later to test efficacy over an extended timeframe.

Patients and Methods

A total of 322 BCSs were randomly assigned to either a 6-week MBSR(BC) program (n = 155) or a usual care group (n = 167). Psychological (depression, anxiety, stress, and fear of recurrence) and physical symptoms (fatigue and pain) and quality of life (as related to health) were assessed at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks. Linear mixed models were used to assess MBSR(BC) effects over time, and participant characteristics at baseline were also tested as moderators of MBSR(BC) effects.

Results

Results demonstrated extended improvement for the MBSR(BC) group compared with usual care in both psychological symptoms of anxiety, fear of recurrence overall, and fear of recurrence problems and physical symptoms of fatigue severity and fatigue interference (P < .01). Overall effect sizes were largest for fear of recurrence problems (d = 0.35) and fatigue severity (d = 0.27). Moderation effects showed BCSs with the highest levels of stress at baseline experienced the greatest benefit from MBSR(BC).

Conclusion

The MBSR(BC) program significantly improved a broad range of symptoms among BCSs up to 6 weeks after MBSR(BC) training, with generally small to moderate overall effect sizes.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5012660/

Improve the Mental and Physical Health of Breast Cancer Survivors with Yoga

Improve the Mental and Physical Health of Breast Cancer Survivors with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“It was very frightening. You wonder, obviously—Am I going to live through this? I’m convinced that yoga made all the difference in my treatment. The breathing was the thing that always came back for me—keeping the fear and panic down. I was in a PET scan machine for an hour. You just lie there and think terrible thoughts. I found my breathing. That was the most valuable thing.” – Debra Campagna

 

About 12.5% of women in the U.S. develop invasive breast cancer over their lifetimes and every year about 40,000 women die. Indeed, more women in the U.S. die from breast cancer than from any other cancer, besides lung cancer. Breast cancer diagnosis, however, is not always a death sentence. Death rates have been decreasing for decades from improved detection and treatment of breast cancer. Five-year survival rates are now at around 95%. The improved survival rates mean that more women are now living with cancer.

 

Surviving cancer, however, carries with it a number of problems. “Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are also at greater risk for developing second cancers and other health conditions.” (National Cancer Survivors Day). Also, breast cancer survivors can have to deal with a heightened fear of reoccurrence. This is particularly true with metastatic cancer. Additionally, cancer survivors frequently suffer from anxiety, depression, mood disturbance, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sleep disturbance, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, loss of personal control, impaired quality of life, an alteration of their body image, and psychiatric symptoms which have been found to persist even ten years after remission. So, safe and effective treatments for the symptoms in breast cancer and the physical and psychological effects of the treatments are needed.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with general cancer recovery and breast cancer recovery. Mindfulness helps to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depression. Yoga practice has also been shown to be helpful with the residual symptoms and the psychological and physical ability to deal with cancer treatment. So, it’s reasonable to further explore the potential benefits of yoga practice for women during and after treatment.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of Long-term Yoga Practice on Psychological outcomes in Breast Cancer Survivors.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5545946/, Amritanshu and colleagues recruited breast cancer survivors who were at least 6 months since the completion of treatment. They separated them into groups based upon whether they practiced yoga or not during the last year. The participants were measured for perceived stress, anxiety, depression, sleep quality, general health, and quality of life, including physical, psychological, social, and functional dimensions.

 

They found that the group that practiced yoga had significantly better psychological and physical health, sleep, and quality of life on all measures compared to the group that did not practice yoga. Hence, the overall health and well-being of the breast cancer survivors were significantly superior when they practiced yoga.

 

It should be kept in mind that this was not a manipulative study, so causation cannot be determined. It is possible that only those breast cancer survivors who were generally healthy would choose to participate in yoga. Previous research, however, that actively trained breast cancer patients in yoga has demonstrated that yoga practice produced significant improvements in the health and well-being of the participants. So, there is reason to believe that yoga practice was responsible for the present findings and that yoga practice improves the mental and physical health of breast cancer survivors.

 

So, improve the mental and physical health of breast cancer survivors with yoga.

 

“Studies suggest that doing yoga while going through breast cancer treatment helps you get through it with fewer side effects. Often doctors have to stop chemo or lower doses to levels that may not be as effective because people don’t tolerate the side effects. But yoga appears to decrease all kinds of side effects.” – Timothy McCall

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Amritanshu, R. R., Rao, R. M., Nagaratna, R., Veldore, V. H., Usha Rani, M. U., Gopinath, K. S., & Ajaikumar, B. S. (2017). Effect of Long-term Yoga Practice on Psychological outcomes in Breast Cancer Survivors. Indian Journal of Palliative Care, 23(3), 231–236. http://doi.org/10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_93_17

 

Abstract

Aim:

Breast cancer has become a pandemic with an ever-increasing incidence. Although better diagnostics and treatment modalities have reduced mortality, a large number of survivors face cancer and treatment-related long-term symptoms. Many survivors are taking up yoga for improving the quality of life (QoL). The present study attempts to evaluate predictors of psychological states in breast cancer survivors with long-term yoga experience.

Materials and Methods:

A case–control study recruited early breast cancer survivors, 30–65 years, completing treatment > 6 months before recruitment, and grouped them based on prior yoga experience (BCY, n = 27) or naïve (BCN, n = 25). Demography, cancer history, diet, exercise habits, and yoga schedule were collected and tools to assess stress, anxiety, depression, general health, and QoL were administered. Multivariate linear regression was done to identify predictors of psychological variables.

Results:

BCY had significantly lower stress, anxiety, depression, better general health, and QoL (P < 0.001). Global QoL and trait anxiety were significantly predicted by Yoga practice; depression was predicted by yoga practice, annual income, and sleep quality; state anxiety was predicted by Yoga practice and income; and stress was predicted by Yoga practice and sleep quality.

Conclusion:

Results indicate that breast cancer survivors, doing yoga, have better psychological profiles and are able to deal with demanding situations better. The psycho-oncogenic model of cancer etiology suggests that a better psychological state in survival has the potential to improve prognosis and survival outcomes and Yoga may be a suitable practice for staying cancer-free for a longer time.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5545946/

Reduce Fatigue with Breast Cancer with Yoga

Reduce Fatigue with Breast Cancer with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yoga works on the principle of mind and body health and it would help women cope with systemic therapy side effects better. Yoga nidra and pranayama also improve sleep patterns. Thus, all this together may reduce fatigue and pain.” – Nita Nair

 

Because of great advances in treatment, many women today are surviving breast cancer. But, cancer survivors frequently suffer from anxiety, depression, mood disturbance, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disturbance, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, loss of personal control, impaired quality of life, an alteration of their body image, and psychiatric symptoms which have been found to persist even ten years after remission. Also, breast cancer survivors can have to deal with a heightened fear of reoccurrence. This is particularly true with metastatic cancer. So, safe and effective treatments for the symptoms in breast cancer and the physical and psychological effects of the treatments are needed.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with general cancer recovery and breast cancer recovery. Yoga practice of has also been shown to be helpful with the residual symptoms, the psychological and physical ability to deal with cancer treatment and improves sleep in women with metastatic breast cancer. So, it’s reasonable to further explore the potential benefits of yoga practice to relieve fatigue and stress in women fighting metastatic breast cancer.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Yoga in Managing Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5545948/, Vadiraja and colleagues recruited women with advanced metastatic breast cancer. They received treatment as usual and were randomly assigned to receive either education and supportive counseling or an integrated yoga program for 12 weeks consisting of 60-min sessions twice a week combined with home practice of relaxation, breathing exercises, postures, and meditation. They were measured before and after treatment for perceived stress and fatigue.

 

In comparison to baseline and the control group the yoga practice group had significant reductions in perceived stress and in fatigue, including severity, how often they felt fatigued, how much fatigue interfered with their everyday activities, and the difference between daytime and nighttime fatigue.  It would have been better if the control group had performed some other form of exercise to determine if it was yoga practice per se or simply exercise was responsible for the results. In addition, since the integrated yoga program contained multiple components it is impossible to differentiate which or which combination of components was effective. Nevertheless, these are impressive and exciting results that integrated yoga practice can have such positive effects on women with advanced metastatic breast cancer.

 

Mindfulness practices, including yoga practice, has been shown to reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress and fatigue in other populations. It is particularly good that yoga has these effects in women with cancer where stress and fatigue exacerbate an already difficult situation. These effects may help to contribute to these women’s ability to fight off the cancer and improve their longevity.

 

So, reduce fatigue with breast cancer with yoga.

 

“Even on my worst days, in terms of fatigue, if I just got up and did a little something, whether it be some light stretching, gentle yoga, just some yoga, that definitely made me feel better.”Amy Schnitzler

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Vadiraja, H., Rao, R. M., Nagarathna, R., Nagendra, H., Patil, S., Diwakar, R. B., … Ajaikumar, B. (2017). Effects of Yoga in Managing Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Indian Journal of Palliative Care, 23(3), 247–252. http://doi.org/10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_95_17

 

Abstract

Background:

Cancer-related fatigue is widely prevalent in cancer patients and affects quality of life in advanced cancer patients. Fatigue is caused due to both psychologic distress and physiological sequel following cancer progression and its treatment. In this study, we evaluate the effects of yogic intervention in managing fatigue in metastatic breast cancer patients.

Methods:

Ninety-one patients with metastatic breast cancer were randomized to receive integrated yoga program (n = 46) or supportive therapy and education (n = 45) over a 3-month period. Assessments such as perceived stress, fatigue symptom inventory, diurnal salivary cortisol, and natural killer cell counts were carried out before and after intervention. Analysis was done using an intention-to-treat approach. Postmeasures for the above outcomes were assessed using ANCOVA with respective baseline measure as a covariate.

Results:

The results suggest that yoga reduces perceived stress (P = 0.001), fatigue frequency (P < 0.001), fatigue severity (P < 0.001), interference (P < 0.001), and diurnal variation (P < 0.001) when compared to supportive therapy. There was a positive correlation of change in fatigue severity with 9 a.m. salivary cortisol levels.

Conclusion:

The results suggest that yoga reduces fatigue in advanced breast cancer patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5545948/