Yoga Helps Breast Cancer Patients During Treatment

Beth Brophy Health Guide
  • OMMMMMM: It sounds like a stretch, but a small study of women who took yoga--which promotes flexibility, strength and mental relaxation--during cancer treatment said they felt better about their health and could function better than women who weren’t taking yoga twice a week. Those practicing yoga, who were having radiation treatments, were better able to climb stairs, lift groceries, walk a mile, and had less fatigue and slept better. The researchers have planned another study, funded by the National Cancer Institute. They want to find out if the benefits come from the yoga, or the emotional support provided by the class setting.
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    Enter Big Pharma. For many years, biotech companies were at the forefront of bringing targeted drugs to market to combat various forms of cancer. But now, according to the New York Times, the big pharmaceutical companies are working on a huge flood of targeted cancer drugs. A case in point: GlaxoSmithKline’s breast cancer drug Tykerb, which is poised to challenge Herceptin, made by Genetech. At the moment about 400 cancer drugs are in clinical trials. The large number of potential new treatments increases the odds of finding new drugs that work, alone or in combination with others. That is twice the number of drugs being tested for depression and Alzheimer’s disease and three times as many as for strokes and heart attacks. The increased competition among big drug companies for new drugs also could result in finding better ways to reduce side effects in new drugs.

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Published On: July 19, 2006