Mindfulness therapy 'could help breast cancer survivors'

3 January 2012

Women who have survived breast cancer could benefit from practising mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Missouri have suggested that such therapies could help the 50 per cent of women who become depressed after they have suffered with breast cancer.

Yaowarat Matchim, a former nursing student, Jane Armer, a leader of the nursing course and professor Bob Stewart of education and adjunct faculty in nursing at the university found that cancer survivors showed increased wellbeing and health improvements after taking part in MBSR.

This type of therapy incorporates meditation, yoga and physical awareness training that teaches women to have a positive future outlook on life.

Prof Armer said: "MBSR is another tool to enhance the lives of breast cancer survivors. 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."

Breast cancer is most commonly treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and in some severe cases surgery.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Armer, J, et al., "Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on Health Among Breast Cancer Survivors", Western Journal of Nursing Research, January 2012.

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