Stress management boosts quality of life in cancer patients

Stress management boosts quality of life in cancer patientsWhen it comes to radical prostatectomy for early-stage prostate cancer, even brief stress management sessions have been shown to bring both short- and long-term benefits, a study has found.

The research was conducted at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, and is the first to examine the benefits of psychosocial intervention for prostate cancer patients prior to surgery.

It showed that those who took part in the sessions, which included diaphragmatic breathing, relaxing guided imagery and cognitive therapy, exhibited less mood disturbance and better quality of life than patients who had the procedure but did not experience any behavioral intervention.

“[All] diagnosed with cancer should be encouraged to participate in any stress management program, be it mind-body or cognitive in nature,” says Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, a professor in M. D. Anderson’s Departments of Behavioral Science and General Oncology and director of the Integrative Medicine Program.

“We know that they are safe and may improve patients’ well-being and help them adjust to a cancer diagnosis,” he adds.

Depending on individual needs, health practitioners have also recommended alternative medicine therapies such as meditation, massage, acupuncture or herbal supplements to relieve stress symptoms.