Benefits of Yoga for Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer affects so many people; a little more than 12 percent of women (or one in eight) in the U.S. will get invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives. If it doesn’t affect you, you probably know someone who it will. And although the survival rate is good if you catch it early, treatment is still both emotionally and physically painful. Treatments range from chemo and radiotherapy to surgery, which can take its toll. But a recent study found that patients who took yoga during radiotherapy felt better than those who did not.

The study followed 61 women during their cancer treatment. The group was split in half; one group took a yoga class for 60 minutes once a week and was also encouraged to practice yoga at home. The other group was not advised to exercise. The group that took yoga reported higher levels of happiness and well being than the control group.

Yoga is not just stretching; it’s also deep breathing and meditation. There’s a reason yoga is called the miracle exercise. Studies have also shown that yoga can lessen chronic pain, boosts your mood and when mixed with tai chi it might make you smarter.

Some things to know about breast cancer:

  • More women will die of breast cancer than any other cancer after lung cancer.
  • Breast cancer is the second highest cancer diagnosed after skin cancer.
  • There are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. as of 2010.

So if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with breast cancer, find a yoga class nearby and sign up. It can help, and though yoga can’t cure cancer it can make you feel better, look better and be able to touch your toes.


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