May 21, 2013 | 12:53 AM (BD Time)
21 May, 2013 Tuesday
Yoga helps breast cancer survivors curb fatigue
Reuters, New York :
About one third of breast cancer survivors experience fatigue that can affect their quality of life, but a small new study finds that doing yoga might help restore some lost vitality. After three months of twice-weekly yoga classes, a group of breast cancer survivors in California reported significantly diminished fatigue and increased "vigor." A control group of women who took classes in post-cancer health issues, but didn't do yoga, had no changes in their fatigue or depression levels.
Dr. Maira Campos, a research scholar at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine who was not involved in the study, said the findings echo similar results from past studies that looked at yoga and cancer patients. Persistent fatigue lasting years after cancer treatment is a common problem whose origin is unknown, and for which there are no validated treatments. Some studies have shown that stress-reduction techniques or exercise classes can help reduce fatigue among cancer patients and survivors in general. But none of them has specifically targeted cancer survivors experiencing fatigue to see if a potential therapy reverses the problem, according to Julienne Bower, an associate professor in the psychology department of the University of California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues.
They recruited 31 breast cancer survivors to undergo "treatment" for their fatigue over 12 weeks at the UCLA Medical Center. Each woman was randomly assigned to participate in either two 90-minute yoga classes every week or a two-hour health class once a week.
At the start of the study, each group of women had similar scores on a questionnaire that gauges fatigue levels.
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