A new study shows that yoga can help to stop cancer from spreading or returning. The findings indicate that doing yoga twice a week is linked to a reduction in inflammation, which is a key factor that triggers cancer to grow.
Globally, more than 18 million people develop cancer every year, as reported by The Guardian. Being inactive raises your risk of various forms of the disease, according to previous research. Three studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s largest cancer conference, added to the evidence that physical activity can help people with cancer.
The first study by the University of Rochester Medical Center showed that yoga can help reduce inflammation. Previous research has shown that cancer survivors experience long-term inflammation from cancer and its treatment, which is correlated with an increased risk of cancer recurrence, according to Medical News Today.
The new study presented at the conference involved 502 cancer survivors with a mean age of 56 wherein participants either received 75-minute gentle yoga sessions twice a week for four weeks or were on a health education placebo, according to Medical News Today. The findings showed that found that those who practised yoga had significantly lower levels of pro-inflammatory markers.
The second study, also led by the aforementioned university, focused on yoga’s link with fatigue and quality of life. In this randomised trial, 173 cancer survivors with a mean age of 67 either participated in an average of seven yoga sessions or a behavioural health education placebo, according to Medical News Today. Researchers found those in the former showed significantly more improvement in fatigue and the emotional aspect of their quality of life.
Karen Mustian, the lead researcher of the studies by the University of Rochester Medical Center told Medical News Today said the researchers wanted to understand how yoga was working. “If you take a look at the data that was just presented at ASCO, you can see in fact that we can do that for not only pretty much every cancer survivor out there, but we can do it in elderly people who are over the age of 65, and that doing yoga is safe for them and it actually works for side effects,” she explained.
The third study was by the Instituto de Medicina Integral in Brazil and showed how older adults with a sedentary lifestyle at the time of cancer diagnosis were at a higher risk for early death, according to Medical News Today.