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Yoga Improves Quality of Life For Radiation Therapy Patients - Exercise Program Planned for Breast Cancer Chemotherapy - Study

June 5th 2006

Yoga Improves Quality of Life For Radiation Therapy Patients - Exercise Program Planned for Breast Cancer Chemotherapy - Study


Researchers at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center believe yoga, as part of a treatment plan for cancer patients, can improve the quality of life.  Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Integrative Medicine Program at M. D. Anderson presented their findings at the 42nd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The research included sixty-one women with breast cancer undergoing radiation.  They were randomized and some took yoga classes twice weekly at or around the time of their radiation therapy appointments.  They created a control group that was “to be offered yoga post-treatment.” The patients ranged from Stage 0 to Stage 3.

The researchers found that after just one week of yoga and radiation, the patients reported increased physical function, as well as general health, compared to the control group.  Also, this group reported better social functioning, significantly lower levels of sleep-related daytime dysfunction, as well as marginally lower levels of fatigue overall.  There was no difference in depression or anxiety levels between the two groups. 


Cohen said "Cancer and its treatments are associated with considerable distress, impaired quality of life and reduced physical function. This is particularly true for women with breast cancer who receive multi-modality treatment over an extended period of time.  With our studies, we think that we could help ameliorate the treatment-related side effects that accumulate in cancer patients over time.”

Kavita Chandwani, M.D., the yoga instructor for the trial said, "It was gratifying to see that we could make a clinically significant difference in these quality of life of these women in such a brief program.  Whether it's yoga or some other type of mind-body program, we believe this study shows how beneficial it is to participate throughout treatment to help with quality of life-based issues."


It has been a long held belief that there is a relationship between the mind and body.  The MD Anderson team has now received a $2.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the effects of Tibetan yoga in women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.  

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Dan Wilson
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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.

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