Thursday February 21, 2019

Yoga a Boon for Breast Cancer Survivors

The more the women in the study practised yoga, the better their results

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Yoga
Avoid Diabetes by practicing Yoga. Pixabay

Breast cancer survivors, if they practise yoga for as little as three months, may significantly reduce fatigue and inflammation, shows research.

“Modest yoga practise over a period of several months could have substantial benefits for breast cancer survivors,” claimed Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State University in the US.

“The results could easily generalise to other groups of people who have issues with fatigue and inflammation,” added Kiecolt-Glaser.

To reach this conclusion, researchers asked 200 participants to practise yoga in small groups twice a week for 12 weeks.

Women in the control group were instructed to perform normal routines and not to do yoga.

Results showed that on average, fatigue was 57 percent lower in women who had practiced yoga compared to the non-yoga group, and their inflammation was reduced by up to 20 percent.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“The participants had completed all breast cancer treatments before the start of the study,” said the study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The more the women in the study practised yoga, the better their results.

“Though many studies have suggested that yoga has numerous benefits, this is the largest known randomised controlled trial that includes biological measures,” Kiecolt-Glaser said.

Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous health problems, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and alzheimer’s disease.

A secondary analysis showed that more frequent yoga practise produced larger changes in fatigue, vitality and depressive symptoms as well as between an average 4 to 6 percent reduction in two of the three pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Also Read: Avoid Diabetes With Yoga, Weight Lifting

The yoga group also reported significantly improved sleep compared to the control group.

“Yoga has many parts to it – meditation, breathing, stretching and strengthening. We think the breathing and meditation components were really important in terms of some of the changes we were seeing,” Kiecolt-Glaser stressed.

Reducing fatigue enables women to engage in other activities over time. So yoga may have offered a variety of benefits in addition to the yoga exercises themselves, added the study. (IANS)

Next Story

Is Mammography Test to Spot Breast Cancer Necessary At All? Find out Here

The experts also recommended MRI, ultrasonography or a biopsy in which breast tissue or fluid is removed for laboratory testing, for younger women

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Breast Cancer
Nano technology offers hope for better cancer testing. Pixabay

A woman under 40, with no known breast cancer risk or visible symptoms of the deadly disease, need not take regular mammography tests, say health experts.

Accordingto the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast, used as a screening tool for the detection of early breast cancer in asymptomatic women.

“If a woman doesn’t have symptoms of breast cancer then regular mammography tests before the age of 40 are not recommended,” Ramesh Sarin, Senior Consultant (Surgical Oncology) at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, told IANS.

If there is any lump in the breast, then mammography should be done.

“Those with increased risk (which is decided by clinician analysing multiple parameters) can begin screening at a younger age around 25-30 years,” added Upasna Saxena, Consultant (Radiation Oncology) from HCG Cancer Centre in Mumbai.

Cancer survivor, Flickr

In mammography, each breast is examined separately and compressed against the film to obtain maximum visualisation of masses or calcifications.

“This helps identify masses or lumps that are smaller than the size that can be felt on examination. Hence, they help in early detection of breast cancers. But at the same time all masses seen on mammography are not cancerous,” Saxena informed.

However, there are various concerns that mammography can be risky due to radiation. But experts noted that mammography uses low energy to take X-Ray of the breast.

“There are no risks which are associated with mammography, even if a woman gets 20-30 mammograms done in her lifetime,” Sarin said.

At the same time, “mammography is to be avoided in pregnant women as the foetus will be at risk even with minimal doses”.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

“If at all required in a pregnant woman, it can be done using a lead shield over the abdomen,” Saxena stressed.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer which affects women in India and, by 2026 the country will witness rise in the breast cancer incidence to 35 per 100,000 women as compared to the present rate of 25.8 per cent, says a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) 2018 report titled “Breast Cancer Landscape in India”.

The cancer burden in India has more than doubled over the last 26 years, the highest increase among all therapy areas, with breast cancer being the most common among Indian women.

However, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) data shows only 9.8 per cent women between the age of 15 and 49 in India have ever undergone breast examination.

Also Read- Researchers Discover Novel Drug to Delay Ageing

“Mammogram should be supplemented with monthly breast self-examination or breast awareness,” Saxena said, adding that breast self-examination once a month should start by the age of 20 onwards.

The experts also recommended MRI, ultrasonography or a biopsy in which breast tissue or fluid is removed for laboratory testing, for younger women.

“However, these alternatives are not as sensitive as mammography, wherein physical examinations can detect breast cancer only in 60-70 percent of the cases. But mammography can detect breast cancer with 85 per cent accuracy,” Sarin noted. (IANS)