Some Mind-Body Therapies Found Effective For Cancer Treatment


The results of a literature review on integrative therapies for patients with breast, and other types of cancer were published by the American Cancer Society in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

“Our goal is to provide clinicians and patients with practical information and tools to make informed decisions on whether and how to use a specific integrative therapy for a specific clinical application during and after breast cancer treatment,” said Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, a past president of the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO).

After evaluating over 80 different integrative therapies, the SIO recommends:

  • For anxiety: music therapy, meditation, stress management, and yoga.
  • For depression/mood disorders: music therapy, meditation, relaxation, yoga, and massage.
  • To reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: acupressure, and acupuncture.
  • For improved quality of life: meditation, and yoga.

The investigators report a lack of substantive evidence for using oral dietary supplements or botanical natural products as supportive care, or for management of breast cancer treatment-related side effects.

Each integrative therapy received a letter grade from the researchers. A grade of “A” signified a therapy was recommended for specific clinical indications, with a strong likelihood of benefitting the patient.

Meditation received an A, and music therapy, yoga, and massage were given a B for use with anxiety, mood issues, and improving quality of life. Acupressure and acupuncture received a B rating for lowering chemo-induced nausea and vomiting. Yoga and hypnosis were graded C for help with fatigue.

“The routine use of yoga, meditation, relaxation techniques, and passive music therapy to address common mental health concerns among patients with breast cancer is supported by high levels of evidence,” said Debu Tripathy, M.D., chair of Breast Oncology at the University of Texas, and a past SIO president. “Given the indication of benefit coupled with the relatively low level of risk, these therapies can be offered as a routine part of patient care, especially when symptoms are not well controlled.”

The researchers caution clinicians and patients about using therapies with grades of C or D, and suggest fully exploring the risks of conventional therapies that may offer more effective relief.

Source: Science Daily
Photo credit: Sonia Belviso


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