(HealthDay News) — Yoga may benefit men who are undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer, according to a small study. The research was presented at the Society of Integrative Oncology’s international conference, held from Nov. 14 to 16 in Boston.
The new study included 27 men who attended 75-minute yoga classes twice a week. These patients saw their quality of life and side effects — including fatigue, sexual health, and urinary incontinence — remain stable throughout their radiation treatment.
“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, M.D., an associate professor in the radiation oncology department of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a university news release.
Yoga may help reduce cancer- and treatment-related fatigue, the study authors suggested. It may also strengthen pelvic floor muscles and increase blood flow, which could improve erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. “There may also be a psychosocial benefit that derives from participation in a group fitness activity that incorporates meditation and promotes overall healthiness. And all of this ultimately improves general quality of life,” Vapiwala added.