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Int J Yoga. 2018 Jan-Apr;11(1):3-29. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_42_17.

Yoga into Cancer Care: A Review of the Evidence-based Research.

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1
Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA.

Abstract

To cope with cancer and its treatment-related side effects and toxicities, people are increasingly using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Consequently, integrative oncology, which combines conventional therapies and evidence-based CAM practices, is an emerging discipline in cancer care. The use of yoga as a CAM is proving to be beneficial and increasingly gaining popularity. An electronic database search (PubMed), through December 15, 2016, revealed 138 relevant clinical trials (single-armed, nonrandomized, and randomized controlled trials) on the use of yoga in cancer patients. A total of 10,660 cancer patients from 20 countries were recruited in these studies. Regardless of some methodological deficiencies, most of the studies reported that yoga improved the physical and psychological symptoms, quality of life, and markers of immunity of the patients, providing a strong support for yoga's integration into conventional cancer care. This review article presents the published clinical research on the prevalence of yoga's use in cancer patients so that oncologists, researchers, and the patients are aware of the evidence supporting the use of this relatively safe modality in cancer care.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; complementary and alternative medicine; integrative medicine; meditation; mindfulness-based stress reduction; yoga

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