Women with breast cancer are living longer, but are experiencing lasting psychological distress. A study published in the Journal of Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2020 compared 24 trials of various yoga therapies to determine their effectiveness in reducing cancer related fatigue and overall quality of life. This research was completed at the University of Toronto in collaboration with the University Health Network and the University of Calgary. The results of the study demonstrated that there was a statistically significant increase in ratings of quality of life and a decrease in cancer related fatigue in participants who were involved in a yoga therapy program.
Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management compared the dose-response relationship between yoga practice and pain levels in women with metastatic breast cancer. The study was completed in the United States of America and was published in October 2020. It revealed that women who practiced yoga more often reported lower levels of pain, and women who incorporated mindfulness or meditation into their yoga practice reported even further decreased levels of daily pain. It showed that the more time spent practicing yoga and/or meditation, the less pain they experienced.
Physical activity, including yoga, is a powerful tool that can be utilized by breast cancer patients to help improve their quality of life and decrease their pain. These activities should be monitored and instructed by a professional. Ensure that you consult with your health care team before engaging in a new fitness program.
O’Neill M, Samaroo D, Lopez C, et al. The Effect of Yoga Interventions on Cancer-Related Fatigue and Quality of Life for Women with Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Integrative Cancer Therapies. January 2020. doi:10.1177/1534735420959882
James W. Carson, Kimberly M. Carson, Maren Olsen, Linda Sanders, Kelly Westbrook, Francis J. Keefe, Laura S. Porter, Yoga Practice Predicts Improvements in Day-to-Day Pain in Women With Metastatic Breast Cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. October, 2020.