Yoga May Reduce Side Effects in Patients Receiving Treatment for Prostate Cancer

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Patients who are undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer may benefit from yoga.
Patients who are undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer may benefit from yoga.

BOSTON, MA—Patients who are undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer may benefit from yoga, according to findings by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine presented at the Society of Integrative Oncology 12th International Conference.

For the study, researchers enrolled 45 patients with prostate cancer receiving radiotherapy to attend 75-minute twice-weekly yoga classes at the Abramson Cancer Center.

Researchers found that most yoga participants reported a sense of well-being at the end of each class and many patients requested and received an individualized at-home yoga routine. Results showed that fatigue scores increased by week 4 and continued to improve with treatment. Erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and general quality of life scores demonstrated steady trends.

"Data have consistently shown declines in these important measures among prostate cancer patients undergoing cancer therapy without any structured fitness interventions, so the stable scores seen with our yoga program are really good news,” Neha Vapiwala, MD, an associate professor in the department of Radiation Oncology at Perelman School of Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center.

The researchers are currently randomly assigning patients with prostate cancer to participate or not participate in the structure yoga program in order to further evaluate the benefits of this treatment modality in this patient population.


  1. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Yoga may lessen side effects in men undergoing prostate cancer treatment [news release]. Eurekalert! web site. Published November 16, 2015. Accessed November 20, 2015.
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