No matter how it’s cracked, undergoing radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer can take its toll on men and their quality of life. Even if no side effects from this potentially life-saving treatment present, the reality is the process can increase anxiety and drain men of energy. Researchers are finding, however, that yoga may help men combat some of the issues they face during treatment.
The study connecting yoga to better overall quality of life during radiation therapy comes courtesy of Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. There researchers found that yoga can help reduce stress and fatigue while increasing strength to the pelvic floor while boosting blood flow.
The study involved 45 cancer patients who agreed to attend twice-weekly yoga classes that last about 75 minutes each. Most of the men in the study reported an elevated sense of well-being after each class. Many also saw their fatigue decrease, along with other potential side effects of treatment. Some of the patients even requested information for creating their own at-home routines following the class.
An estimated 220,000 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. While this disease is often considered low-risk and slow growing, some men find that immediate intervention is required. Gland removal and the use of radiation are common treatments for helping men beat this disease. Having access to tools to ease the stress associated with treatment can greatly enhance a man’s quality of life while facing prostate cancer.
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are urged to discuss all treatment options with their healthcare providers. Should radiation or other forms of treatment be recommended, it can also be beneficial to talk about steps that can make the process easier. For some men, it seems, yoga offers a healthy, viable alternative for raising quality of life during and after treatment.