The 21st Century has brought with it tremendous strides in cancer survival and the efficacy of therapies. Among the more important aspects of this progress is the implementation of integrative oncology as an effective model for cancer treatment. Integrative oncology emphasizes not only the use of traditional cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and surgery, but also complementary, non-curative therapies designed to ease the process of cancer treatment for the patient. These therapies can range from acupuncture to meditation, but have proven more often than not to be effective in assisting patients through the discomforts commonly associated with traditional cancer treatment. One therapy being incorporated into cancer care in recent years is Yoga.
The primary goals of integrative oncology are to achieve effective cancer treatment while maintaining patient comfort and relief of stress. Just as Yoga has been used for hundreds of years as an effective stress release mechanism for many people, so too is it now being utilized by cancer patients.
While further research is ongoing, preliminary studies examining the effects of Yoga among cancer patients and survivors support the efficacy of Yoga within cancer treatment regimens, including the combating of symptoms caused by chemotherapy drugs. Yoga has shown to dramatically reduce sleeplessness, cancer-related distress, nausea, and excessive fatigue.