Yoga may help overcome breast cancer fatigue.
Exercise is good for recovery after cancer treatment, but fatigue can make work difficult. A study has found that yoga can help reduce the fatigue of breast cancer survivors. This is one of an increasing number of efforts to use randomized controlled trials to see if the ancient practice provides medical benefits.
Women who took a three-hour yoga session three hours a week reported lower levels of fatigue compared with a group of breast cancer survivors who did not do yoga.
, a professor of psychology at Ohio state university, the study’s lead author Janice kiecolt-glaser says: “survivors of fatigue is a major and serious problem,” or even a few years later, at the end of the treatment, a professor of psychology at Ohio state university Janice kiecolt-glaser told Shots.
Kiecolt-glaser says there are also low levels of cytokines in the blood of participants in the yoga movement, which are markers of inflammation. After six months of yoga, the level of cytokines decreased by 20%. She said it was not clear how this might affect their health.
Other studies have found that fatigue interferes with the daily activities of about a third of cancer survivors. Kiecolt-glaser says, “the less you do, the more tired you are. Yoga seems to be one way to break the cycle. The study was published in the journal of clinical oncology.
The researchers recruited about 200 women who completed cancer treatment within three years. Age ranges from 20 to 70. The course includes a series of very gentle stretching and strength building exercises and breathing techniques.
“It’s relaxing and resetting the body,” study participant Sue Cavanaugh of Columbus, Ohio, told Shots. She says yoga not only helps with fatigue, it also helps her recover some parts of her right arm.
“I’m happier because I can do things that I love, including working as an artist in her big job,” cavano said.
Previous yoga studies of cancer patients and survivors have found that yoga helps alleviate pain, anxiety and depression, and has a moderate impact on fatigue and quality of life. But the Cochrane study of the wider problem of cancer and exercise found that more vigorous exercise reduced fatigue and improved quality of life. Exercise also reduces the risk of cancer recurrence.
The Cochrane evaluation also points to the biggest problem with doing yoga randomized controlled trials: you know if you’re doing this. This may affect people’s view of welfare.
“We’re training our bikes, breast cancer survivors on the treadmill, and athletes like athletes,” said Lee Jones, an associate professor of radiation oncology who studies the effects of exercise on cancer patients. He says fatigue is a barrier to many survivors. “But if you actually do exercise, they can exercise and they can be very powerful.”
Jones tells Shots that yoga can be a complementary form of aerobic exercise.