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Meditation Helps Women with Breast Cancer

A meditation technique has been found to help relieve stress and improve mental health among women with breast cancer.

Researchers from St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago studied the use of a transcendental meditation technique among 130 women with breast cancer.

All participants were 55 years and older and were randomly assigned to either the transcendental meditation technique or to a usual care control group.

Patients were administered quality of life measures, including the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B), every six months for two years. The average intervention period was 18 months.

“It is wonderful that physicians now have a range of interventions to use, including transcendental meditation, to benefit their patients with cancer,” said Rhoda Pomerantz, M.D., study co-author and chief of gerontology, Saint Joseph Hospital.

“I believe this approach should be appreciated and utilized more widely.”

Stress contributes to the onset and progression of breast cancer

According to background information in the article, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, striking about 13 percent. Women over the age of 50 have four times the incidence of breast cancer compared to women below 50. Breast cancer remains a leading cause of death among women, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“Emotional and psychosocial stress contribute to the onset and progression of breast cancer and cancer mortality,” said Sanford Nidich, lead author of the study and senior researcher at the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

“The transcendental meditation technique reduces stress and improves emotional well-being and mental health in older breast cancer patients. The women in the study found their meditation practice easy to do at home and reported significant benefits in their overall quality of life,” Dr. Nidich said.

“Decades of research have shown that stress contributes to the cause and complications of cancer,” said Robert Schneider, M.D., F.A.C.C., co-author and director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management.

“The data from this well-designed clinical trial and related studies suggest that effective stress reduction with the transcendental meditation program may be useful in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer and its deleterious consequences.”

The study is published in the current issue of the peer-reviewed journal Integrative Cancer Therapies.

Source: Saint Joseph Hospital

Meditation Helps Women with Breast Cancer

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Meditation Helps Women with Breast Cancer. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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