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Yoga, Meditation Aid Menopausal Symptoms After Breast Cancer

Randomized trial shows beneficial effect for yoga combined with meditation in breast cancer survivors

MONDAY, June 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For breast cancer survivors, a yoga and meditation intervention is associated with improvement in menopausal symptoms, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of Cancer.

Holger Cramer, Ph.D., from the Kliniken Essen-Mitte in Germany, and colleagues examined the effects of a 12-week traditional Hatha yoga and meditation intervention on menopausal symptoms. Forty breast cancer survivors (mean age, 49.2 years) were randomized to yoga (19 women) or usual care (21 women).

The researchers found that, compared with the usual-care group, women in the yoga group reported significantly lower total menopause symptoms at week 12 (mean difference, −5.6; P = 0.004) and at week 24 (mean difference, −4.5; P = 0.023). The yoga group reported fewer somatovegetative, psychological, and urogenital menopausal symptoms at week 12, as well as less fatigue and improved quality of life (all P < 0.05). All effects persisted at week 24 except for psychological menopausal symptoms. When only women receiving antiestrogen medication were included (36 women), short-term effects on menopausal symptoms remained significant. In each group there were six minor adverse events.

“Yoga combined with meditation can be considered a safe and effective complementary intervention for menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors,” the authors write.

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