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How Yoga Can Help Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer remains the number-one most common type of cancer diagnosed among women. In the United States, about one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.

Cancer research studies have shown that having higher levels of physical activity actually lowers the risk of developing several types of cancer, including breast cancer. Getting an adequate amount of physical activity can reduce levels of hormones such as estrogen that have been known to be affiliated with the development of breast cancer. Once you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, discovering what kind of physical activity or exercise is best can be a challenge. Yoga is one way women can get the right amount of exercise at any stage of their breast cancer treatment. While it is not meant to be an alternative to standard treatments that your doctor may recommend (like surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy), it can be a correlative therapeutic strategy.

Women with breast cancer often undergo a lot of stress and by focusing on both the mind and the body, yoga can provide women with physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Studies have shown that practicing yoga can improve fatigue and quality of sleep, reduces stress, strengthen physical functioning, and enhance overall quality of life. Low impact stretching poses and movements that are typical of a yoga session can be relaxing and allow an improved sense of well-being.

Yoga exercises can be tailored to a person’s needs or limitations too, but before attempting any form of exercise, including yoga, make sure to talk to your doctor. The cancer specialists at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology are dedicated not only to the effective treatment of cancers, but also to making sure that these treatments are done in a way that impact your overall quality of life as minimally as possible.

Our cancer specialists are dedicated to making strides in the fight against cancer. Hunterdon Hematology Oncology is a home to the nationally recognized regional breast-care program at the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center. The Hunterdon Health and Wellness Centers offer an array of yoga classes and also now have a certified Cancer Exercise Specialist who may be able to build the right type of exercise program for you. For more information including timings and rates, please contact Beth Merola (Cancer Exercise Specialist/Certified Personal Trainer) at either of the Hunterdon Health and Wellness Center locations by calling WhiteHouse Station at 908- 534-7600 and Clinton at 908-735-6884.

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