Yoga can help maintain quality of life and alleviate side effects for men undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer, according to a study.
In the recent past, the experts are keen in discovering the potential health benefits of yoga. Less than two months ago, a study suggested yoga may improve symptoms of arthritis. Another study found improved quality of life for patients with breast cancer.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania enrolled 68 prostate patients to assess how yoga may affect quality of life and treatment side effects for men with prostate cancer . All the study subjects were undergoing 6-9 weeks of outpatient radiotherapy. Of these, 45 agreed to take part in 75 minutes of Eischens yoga twice weekly during their treatment.
“Eischens yoga incorporates ideas from movement theory and kinesiology and is accessible to all body types and experience levels,” said Tali Mazar Ben-Josef, study investigator and a certified Eischens yoga instructor.
During the course of the study, 18 participants withdrew from the yoga sessions due to unavoidable clashes between yoga classes and radiation therapy. The researchers found that throughout the course of radiation therapy and yoga sessions, their quality of life was maintained.
Moreover, fatigue severity also improved while prevalence of erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence remained steady. Many patients undergoing radiotherapy experience side effects including fatigue, erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence and decline in their quality of life.
The study findings proved that yoga could reduce treatment-related fatigue for cancer patients. It may also strengthen pelvic floor muscles and increase blood flow, which could improve erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
“There may also be a psychosocial benefit that derives from participation in a group fitness activity that incorporates meditation and promotes overall healthiness. And all of this ultimately improves general quality of life,” said Dr. Neha Vapiwala, lead author of the study and an associate professor at Perelman School of Medicine.
Yoga is a mind and body practice that involves a combination of breathing techniques, physical postures and relaxation. IMAGE/Shutterstock