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Women, who took yoga classes during breast cancer treatment, reported they could function better physically and felt better about their health, according to a study released recently.

Sixty-two women who where undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer were randomly assigned to attend yoga classes twice a week or be put on a waiting list to start yoga after their treatment. All completed surveys about various quality-of-life measurements.

The women who practised yoga reported better physical yoga reported better physical functioning, such as the ability to walk mile, climb stairs and lift groceries, said Lorenzo Cohen, director of integrative medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre.

They also felt better about their overall health and reported less fatigue and problems sleeping, said Cohen, the study's lead author:

yogaNo difference was seen, however, in rates of depression and anxiety in the two groups, according to findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Yoga practice includes a series of poses to promote flexibility, strength and mental relaxation and excluded positions that would be difficult for patients with weakened range of motion. There average age of patients in the study was 42 years.

Another study have been planned, funded by the National Cancer Institute, to compare breast cancer patients taking yoga with others in a class that teaches general stretching exercises.

The goal is to determine if the benefit seen from yoga come from the participating in a class, said Dr Patricia Ganzm who studies the quality of life of cancer patients at the University of California at Los Angeles. - Reuters

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