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Exercise Improves Health in Women with Breast Cancer

Yoga improves quality of life

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise and yoga improve health and quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer, according to two studies published online Sept. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In the first study, Kerry Courneya, Ph.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues assigned 242 women undergoing chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer to resistance exercise, aerobic exercise or usual care. They found that muscle strength, lean body mass and self-esteem improved in the resistance exercise group, while aerobic fitness, self-esteem and body fat percentage improved in the aerobic exercise group. The resistance exercise group had the highest chemotherapy completion rate of 78 percent compared with 65.9 percent of the usual care group.

In the second study, Alyson Moadel, Ph.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues assigned 128 early-stage breast cancer patients to yoga or no yoga. They found that women who did not do yoga had a drop in their social well-being scores. Women who did yoga and were not undergoing chemotherapy reported improved quality of life, emotional well-being and mood.

"Behavioral interventions that are instituted in these patients come during a period when patients are saddled with competing time constraints and also when their emotional and physical energies are being drained," Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., writes in an accompanying editorial. "However, such interventions also may demonstrate their greatest impact during this time of treatment."

Abstract - Courneya
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Abstract - Moadel
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