Published studies in the “Journal of Clinical Oncology” have shown that exercise and yoga can help to better the quality of life in women suffering from the early stages of breast cancer. One of the studies conducted at the University of Alberta, Canada found that aerobic exercise can help improve physical conditions in patients. This study also discovered that patients had better opinions of themselves due to exercise and yoga. Half-way through the study they found that exercise helped the majority of patients complete their chemotherapy treatment, possibly due to the increase of white blood cell levels in patients. According to Kerry Coureya, Professor of Physical Studies at the University of Alberta, cancer patients who exercised during the course of their chemotherapy treatment benefitted from improved physical fitness, body composition and self esteem.
Another study by the School of Medicine of Albert Einstein in New York found that practicing yoga can be very beneficial to women who are not being treated with chemotherapy. They compared 84 women with breast cancer who began taking yoga classes against 44 women with the same condition who did not follow the same routine. The women who did not practice yoga revealed that there was a drop in the way that they felt. The benefits of yoga were greater in the women that took the class regularly. Also, the women who had chemotherapy and practiced yoga revealed that they felt they had a better quality of life and a better emotional state compared to the women who did not. The women who did not practice yoga felt they had a lower quality of life, including a lower daily moral and spiritual state. According to Wendy Demark-Wahnefried of the Department of Surgery at the Medical Center of Duke University, the results of both studies show that changes in lifestyle can be essential in helping to fight breast cancer.