Researchers presented initial findings from the first study comparing the benefits of yoga against those of simple stretching exercises for women with breast cancer.
The findings concluded that patients who practiced yoga while receiving radiation therapy experienced improved physical functioning and lower levels of stress hormones.
They also reported increased ability to find meaning in their lives.
The study is the latest effort to scientifically confirm the impact of mind-body interventions for cancer patients.
“The combination of mind and body practices that are part of yoga clearly have tremendous potential to help patients manage the psychosocial and physical challenges associated with treatment and life after cancer — beyond the benefits of simple stretching,” says Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor in the departments of General Oncology and Behavioral Science and director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson.
Reported in June 2011 at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.