Benefits of yoga in breast cancer patients

 According to this study, yoga might have a role in managing psychological distress in early breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy.

First, the details.

  • 88 stage II and III breast cancer patients were randomly assigned to receive yoga or brief supportive therapy prior to radiotherapy treatment.
  • Assessments included diurnal salivary cortisol levels 3 days before and after radiotherapy.
  • Self-ratings of anxiety, depression, and stress were collected before and after 6 weeks of radiotherapy.

And, the results.

  • There were significant decreases in anxiety, depression, and perceived stress.
  • 6 AM salivary cortisol, and pooled mean cortisol in the yoga group also decreased significance compared to controls.
  • There was a significant correlation between morning salivary cortisol levels and anxiety and depression.

The bottom line?
Other studies support the benefits of yoga in patients with breast cancer.

  • The University of Saskatchewan reported improved quality of life and mood disturbance with yoga.
  • Researchers in New York reported that yoga is associated with beneficial effects on social functioning.
  • A study presented at the American Physiological Society meeting identified improved quality of life in the yoga participants.

2/5/09 20:41 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.