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Yoga May Help Relieve Side Effects Of Prostate Cancer Treatment

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer for men. A recent study suggests that yoga may help men manage the side effects of prostate cancer treatment.

Participants in the study included 45 prostate cancer patients who took twice-weekly, 75 minute yoga classes during their six to nine week course of radiation treatment.  Eighteen of the participants withdrew due to unavoidable and unanticipated conflicts between radiation treatment times and the yoga class schedule.

For the 27 participants who completed the study, the researchers noted that erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and general quality of life scores held steady instead of increasing, which is the more common result of radiation therapy. Fatigue scores increased by week four but improved over the total study time period. The majority of the participants reported a sense of well being at the end of each class and many of them asked to continue at-home practice after the study period ended.

Researchers from PSOM and the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center conducted the study. It was presented at the Society of Integrative Oncology’s 12th International Conference, which took place from November 14-16, 2015, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Practicing yoga has also been linked to better quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia, a long- term disease that results in pain all over a person’s body, as well as better balance for stroke survivors and help with easing pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Yoga not only strengthens the body, it also relaxes the mind and may help reduce anxiety.

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