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Yoga improves quality of life in women with breast cancer

Exercise and yoga improve health and quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer, according to two studies published online Sept. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Exercise and yoga improve health and quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer, according to two studies published online Sept. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In the first study, Kerry Courneya, PhD, from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues assigned 242 women undergoing chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer to resistance exercise, aerobic exercise, or usual care. They found that muscle strength, lean body mass, and self-esteem improved in the resistance exercise group, while aerobic fitness, self-esteem, and body fat percentage improved in the aerobic exercise group. The resistance exercise group had the highest chemotherapy completion rate of 78% compared with 65.9% of the usual care group.

In the second study, Alyson Moadel, PhD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, and colleagues assigned 128 early-stage breast cancer patients to yoga or no yoga. They found that women who did not do yoga had a drop in their social well-being scores. Women who did yoga and were not undergoing chemotherapy reported improved quality of life, emotional well-being, and mood.

Courneya KS, Segal RJ, Mackey JR, et al. Effects of aerobic and resistance exercise in breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy: a multicenter randomized controlled trial [published online ahead of print September 4, 2007]. J Clin Oncol. Doi:10.1200/jco.2006.08.2024.

Moadel AB, Shah C, Wylie-Rosett J, et al. Randomized controlled trial of yoga among a multiethnic sample of breast cancer patients: effects on quality of life. J Clin Oncol. [published online ahead of print September 4, 2007]. J Clin Oncol. doi:10.1200/jco.2006.06.6027.