Yoga Improves Health In Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy


A study published in this month’s Journal of Clinical Oncology┬áby Lorenzo Cohen and colleagues from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has proven that yoga can complement the medical treatment of cancer. Women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer were split into 3 groups:

  • yoga (including asanas, breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation techniques) group
  • stretching (specific to condition) group
  • control group

The yoga and stretching groups practised 3 times a week for an hour during the 6 week duration of radiotherapy. Data was collected before, at the end and 1, 3 and 6 months after treatment.

Compared to the two other groups, the yoga group showed statistically significant improvements in subjective measures of physical functioning, ability to engage in daily activities, general health perceptions and in the ability to find meaning in the illness experience. The changes were maintained over time. Additionally, measures of cortisol in saliva revealed better stress hormone regulation in the yoga group.

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