Academic journal article International Journal of Yoga

Effectiveness of Pranayama on Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Academic journal article International Journal of Yoga

Effectiveness of Pranayama on Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Article excerpt

Byline: Jyothi. Chakrabarty, M. Vidyasagar, Donald. Fernandes, Ganapathi. Joisa, Prabha. Varghese, Sreemathi. Mayya

Context: Incidence of breast cancer is very high among women around the world. Breast cancer patients experience cancer-related fatigue at some points during the treatment for breast cancer. Since cancer-related fatigue is of multifactorial origin, there are no evidence-based treatment strategies for fatigue. This study tested the effectiveness of certain pranayama techniques in reducing cancer-related fatigue among breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Aims: The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of pranayama on cancer-related fatigue among breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy as measured by cancer fatigue scale. Settings and Design: Shirdi Sai Baba Cancer Hospital and Research Center, Kasturba Hospital Manipal. Materials and Methods: Study was a randomized controlled trial done among breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy. Statistical Analysis Used: Demographic characteristics of the participants are presented as frequency and percentage. Comparison of means of cancer-related fatigue between the two groups is done by Mann-Whitney U-test and comparison of pre- and post-test means of cancer-related fatigue among the experimental group is done by Wilcoxon sign rank test. Results: There was a significant difference between the two groups with regard to the scores of cancer-related fatigue. The experimental group of patients who performed pranayama along with radiation therapy experienced less fatigue. Conclusions: Pranayama can be used as a supportive therapy for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

INTRODUCTION

Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer diagnosed in women world over. [sup][1] Asian countries also show the trend of increasing number of breast cancer among women. [sup][2] The incidence of breast cancer has been increasing in India as well in the past few years. [sup][3] Based on 2004-2005 data from population-based cancer registries (PBCRs), it was observed that breast cancer has been ranked as a leading site of cancer among women in most of the cities of India with Chennai reporting the highest age adjusted rates (AAR) as 29.3 followed by Delhi (29.2). [sup][4] First report of 20 PBCRs in India for 2006-2008 show that Bangalore has the highest AAR for breast cancer (36.06). [sup][5]

Breast cancer is conventionally treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Adjuvant radiation is used among breast cancer patients to prevent loco-regional recurrence of the tumor. [sup][6]

Almost all breast cancer patients experience fatigue during the course of treatment and the intensity of fatigue increases during the course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. National Comprehensive Cancer Network has defined cancer-related fatigue as a "distressing persistent, subjective sense of physical, emotional and/or cognitive tiredness or exhaustion related to cancer or cancer treatment that is not proportional to recent activity and interferes with usual functioning." [sup][7]

Curt et al . in 2000 reported cancer-related fatigue as very common in advanced cancers and its prevalence reported to be as high as 95% among patients with advanced cancer receiving adjuvant therapies. They identified that cancer-related fatigue is a problem before, during and after therapy, and it can continue to be a problem in cancer survivors as well. The authors also stated that fatigue can affect the activities of daily living of the people affected. [sup][8]

Assessment of fatigue and health status in Greek patients with breast cancer undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy has shown that approximately 13% of the women in the study experienced moderate to high levels of fatigue and fatigue increased during radiotherapy. [sup][9]

Cancer-related fatigue has a very strong negative effect on quality-of-life (QOL) as many patients find it difficult to carry out their activities of daily living. …

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