Studies Show How Yoga May Stop Cancer From Spreading Or Recurring

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Recent research has revealed that practicing yoga twice a week can effectively alleviate fatigue symptoms in individuals with cancer and also decrease the risk of cancer recurrence.

Each year, approximately 18 million people worldwide are diagnosed with various forms of cancer, and it is widely recognized that physical inactivity heightens the chances of developing cancer.

Yoga, like many other forms of exercise, has been found to be a preventive measure against cancer. In fact, it has garnered significant attention from prominent cancer researchers, as highlighted by The Guardian newspaper.

At the world’s largest cancer conference, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), three studies were presented, collectively indicating that recommending rest for cancer patients experiencing low energy levels or fatigue may not be the most effective approach to promote health.

One of these studies, conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Centre, involved 500 cancer patients who had undergone cancer treatment within the past 2 weeks to 5 years. These patients were randomly divided into two groups: a control group and an intervention group. The intervention group participated in two 75-minute yoga classes per week as part of the study.

“Our data suggest that yoga significantly reduces inflammation among cancer survivors,” the study’s authors wrote in a report published at the ASCO meeting. “Clinicians should consider prescribing yoga for survivors experiencing inflammation, which may lead to a high chronic toxicity burden and increased risk of progression, recurrence, and second cancers.”

Among the myriad societal advantages stemming from Indian culture, yoga stands out as one of the most remarkable forms of low-intensity exercise accessible to people worldwide. This ancient practice not only elevates the heart rate but also involves various muscle groups and promotes profound breathing.

“What I say to doctors is you should recommend to them [cancer patients] yoga as an option and you should help them find places in their community where they can do it,” The study’s lead researcher, Karen Mustian, said when she spoke to the Guardian.

The second study, also conducted by Rochester researchers, investigated the effects of yoga on fatigue and quality of life.

Elderly cancer patients participating in the same yoga program demonstrated reduced levels of fatigue and reported significantly higher life satisfaction scores.

In the third study, it was observed that cancer patients classified as “active,” including those who engaged in activities like a 30-minute brisk walk, experienced a nearly one-fifth decrease in the risk of death.

“We also have to educate the family,” Dr. Jurema Telles de Oliveira Lima, the expert who oversaw the third study, said. “Because it’s very common that the family wants to protect the older person when they have cancer, like: ‘I’m not going to let him do anything or go anywhere.’ We have to tell the family that it [physical activity] can be best for the patient and also on a psychological level as well.”

Yoga offers so many significant physical, emotional, and psychological benefits to cancer patients. However, it is also crucial for patients to consult with their healthcare team before starting any new exercise regimen. Yoga should be tailored to individual needs and abilities, and it is essential to find a qualified yoga instructor with experience in working with cancer patients. When integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan, this form of exercise and relaxation can contribute positively to the overall well-being and quality of life of cancer patients.

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