December 29, 2011
Science Daily/University of Missouri-Columbia
Women recently diagnosed with breast cancer have higher survival rates than those diagnosed in previous decades, according to new research. However, survivors continue to face health challenges after their treatments end. Previous research reports as many as 50 percent of breast cancer survivors are depressed. Now, researchers say a meditation technique can help breast cancer survivors improve their emotional and physical well-being.
Yaowarat Matchim, a former nursing doctoral student; Jane Armer, professor of nursing; and Bob Stewart, professor emeritus of education and adjunct faculty in nursing, found that breast cancer survivors' health improved after they learned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a type of mindfulness training that incorporates meditation, yoga and physical awareness.
"MBSR is another tool to enhance the lives of breast cancer survivors," Armer said. "Patients often are given a variety of options to reduce stress, but they should choose what works for them according to their lifestyles and belief systems."
"Post diagnosis, breast cancer patients often feel like they have no control over their lives," Armer said. "Knowing that they can control something -- such as meditation -- and that it will improve their health, gives them hope that life will be normal again."