UCLA yoga study seeks breast cancer survivors


Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center are recruiting volunteers who have completed treatment for breast cancer and are experiencing persistent fatigue to join a study to see if yoga can improve energy, mood and physical functioning.

"We are interested in yoga because there are some compelling preliminary data that suggest the practice may be associated with improving mood and energy," said Julie Bower, a researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center and the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute and an assistant professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences. "We are collaborating with a local yoga instructor who has worked with breast cancer survivors and is very interested in doing a study to evaluate the potential benefits of yoga for this group."

Today, most women are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and most are cured, but many are left with ongoing symptoms. Fatigue is the most common symptom for women with breast cancer both during and after treatment. Research suggests it can endure for years after treatment is completed.

"Our goal is to reduce the side effects of cancer treatment and improve long-term quality of life," Bower said.

The yoga study seeks women between the ages of 45 and 65 who completed treatment between one and five years ago. In addition to the twice-weekly yoga classes, the women will participate in psychiatric interviews, complete questionnaires, and provide blood and saliva samples for immune and hormonal evaluation. The classes will be taught at a yoga studio in West Los Angeles.

Women interested in participating in the study should call Deborah Garet at (310) 267-4423 to determine their eligibility.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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