For breast cancer patients, practicing yoga on a regular basis can help regulate stress hormones and improve the overall quality of life.
According to a study, patients who practice yoga, experienced improved ability to engage in their daily activities, better general health and better regulation of cortisol (stress hormone).
Lorenzo Cohen, professor at University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Centre explained that combining mind and body that are part of yoga have tremendous potential to assist patients manage the psychosocial and physical difficulties.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, also assessed yoga benefits in cancer patients by comparing their experience with patients in an active control group who integrated simple, generic stretching exercises into their lives.
To study was conducted on 191 breast cancer patient (stage 0-3). They were randomized to one of three groups yoga, simple stretching or no instruction in yoga or stretching.
Patients in the yoga and stretching groups attended sessions for one-hour, three days a week for one and a half months.
Women who practiced yoga had the steepest decline in their cortisol levels throughout the day thus indicating that yoga had the ability to help regulate this stress hormone.
After completing radiation treatment, only the women in the yoga and stretching groups reported a reduction in fatigue.