A small study suggests that yoga may help men who are undergoing radiationtreatment for prostate cancer to alleviate some side effects of their treatmentand maintain their quality of life.
Yoga is a mind and body practice that combines physical poses and breathingtechniques, along with meditation or relaxation.
Studies have examined the benefits of yoga for female cancer patients, but notfor male cancer patients.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicinepresented their findings of yoga at a conference of the Society of IntegrativeOncology.
The team studied 45 men with prostate cancer who were undergoing 6 to 9weeks of outpatient radiation therapy and who agreed to take part in 75minutes of Eischens yoga twice weekly during their treatment.
Eischens yoga is a type of yoga that incorporates movement theory andkinesiology.
The researchers note that 18 of the participants withdrew from the yogasessions early due to time conflicts between yoga classes and radiation therapy.
The remaining men completed a series of questionnaires that showed that, throughout the course of radiation therapy and yoga sessions, their quality oflife was maintained.
The researchers noted that previous studies in women have found that yogacan reduce fatigue for cancer patients, and have also suggested that yoga maystrengthen pelvic floor muscles and increase blood flow.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, alittle over 9% of American adults practiced yoga in 2012, up from 6.1% in2007.