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Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Jan;96(2):e5838. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000005838.

Morning breathing exercises prolong lifespan by improving hyperventilation in people living with respiratory cancer.

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aCenter for Systems Medicine, Guangxi Key Laboratory of Excellence, Guilin Medical University bDepartment of Pathology, the Affiliated Hospital of Guilin Medical University cCollege of Basic Medical Sciences, Guilin Medical University, Guilin, China.


Disturbance of oxygen-carbon dioxide homeostasis has an impact on cancer. Little is known about the effect of breath training on cancer patients. Here we report our 10-year experience with morning breathing exercises (MBE) in peer-support programs for cancer survivors.We performed a cohort study to investigate long-term surviving patients with lung cancer (LC) and nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) who practiced MBE on a daily basis. End-tidal breath holding time (ETBHT) after MBE was measured to reflect improvement in alveolar O2 pressure and alveolar CO2 pressure capacity.Patients (female, 57) with a diagnosis of LC (90 patients) and NPC (32 patients) were included. Seventy-six of them were MBE trainees. Average survival years were higher in MBE trainees (9.8 ± 9.5) than nontrainees (3.3 ± 2.8). The 5-year survival rate was 56.6% for MBE trainees and 19.6% for nontrainees (RR = 5.371, 95% CI = 2.271-12.636, P < 0.001). Survival probability of the trainees further increased 17.9-fold for the 10-year survival rate. Compared with the nontrainees, the MBE trainees shows no significant differences in ETBHT (baseline, P = 0.795; 1-2 years, P = 0.301; 3-4 years, P = 0.059) at baseline and within the first 4 years. From the 5th year onwards, significant improvements were observed in ETBHT, aCO2%, PaCO2, and PaO2 (P = 0.028). In total, 18 trainees (40.9%) and 20 nontrainees (74.1%) developed new metastasis (RR = 0.315, 95% CI = 0.108-0.919, P = 0.031).MBE might benefit for the long-term survival in patients with LC and NPC due to improvement in hyperventilation.

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