A Type Of Mindfulness Training—Beneficial To Breast Cancer Survivors

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Cancer remains a life-threatening disease which may cause unfavorable consequences to the patient’s life. Because of the morbidity and mortality of cancer, many therapeutic strategies have been developed. According to the American Cancer Society, the survival rates of females who have been diagnosed lately with breast cancer were observed to be better, compared to those diagnosed in the past years. But still, survivors are encountering odds in health after their therapies end. It was reported that depression is suffered by about 50% of breast cancer survivors. Currently, the researchers from University of Missouri’s Sinclair School of Nursing share that a meditation technique can be used to aid breast cancer survivors to enhance their physical and emotional health.

The researchers included: Yaowarat Matchim, a former nursing doctoral student; Jane Armer, nursing professor; and Bob Stewart, professor emeritus of education and adjunct faculty in nursing. Their study was published in the Western Journal of Nursing Research. They discovered that breast cancer survivors’ well-being became better after learning Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. This is a form of mindfulness training which integrates meditation, physical awareness and yoga. Armer explained that MBSR is an approach that can improve the lives of breast cancer patients. She added that patients need to select their means of stress reduction, depending on their lifestyles and beliefs.

Furthermore, MBSR involves group sessions in a span of 8 to 10 weeks. The participants carry out their meditation abilities, indulge in discussing their body’s response to stress and gain knowledge of coping techniques. It was revealed that decreases in blood pressure, cardiac rate and respiratory rate were noted among those who were involved in MBSR. Moreover, the participants’ mindfulness augmented and their mood was enhanced. To obtain best outcomes, Armer articulated that participants need to apply MBSR even after the session ends.

Armer also stated, “Mindfulness-based meditation, ideally, should be practiced every day or at least on a routine schedule.” She added that MBSR helps patients to be knowledgeable of new perspectives that can be beneficial even in the long run. She elaborated that this non-medical strategy can be an adjunct to other therapeutic interventions like radiation, surgery or chemotherapy. Post diagnosis breast cancer patients usually think that they do not have control in what is happening in their lives. With meditation, they would feel that they are capable of controlling something. This can enhance their well-being and help them live a normal life again.

This strategy can be very useful both for those suffering from cancer and for the survivors. With continuous application, they will be able to preserve or restore the quality of their lives.




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