Do you know 1 in 8 U.S. women have chances to develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime? The problem tends to increase after the age of 40 and is highest found in women over age 70. Moreover, in the next decade the chance of developing breast cancer at 20 years is 0.6 percent.
The figures are scary, aren’t they? Hence, if you have noticed a lump or area of thickened breast tissue, you might need to visit your physician for examination. Though breast lumps aren’t always cancerous, yet if these are accompanied with any of these, it is a reason to worry.
- Discharge from either of your nipples
- A lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- Change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- A rash on or around your nipple
Similar to these signs, there can be multiple risk factors which might lead to breast cancer in future. Have a look:
- Being overweight or obesity after menopause can lead to breast cancer.
- Regular alcohol consumption can put you at risk, as there are studies stating that women taking more than 3 drinks a day are at 1.5 times higher risk.
- Women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Exposure to some carcinogens and endocrine disruptors in the workplace might cause breast cancer.
- Higher density of breast tissue can be responsible for it.
- Cosmetic breast implants increases the chances of death due to breast cancer.
How is breast cancer treated?
When it comes to the treatment, it will depend on number of factors including stage of the cancer, type, patient’s age, health status, and so on. However, there are many effective solutions to get rid of this disease. The list includes chemotherapy, surgery, biological therapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy.
The patients, who have undergone the chemotherapy medication or radiation, feel difficult to recommence their daily routine. From energy-sapping fatigue to anxiety and sleepless nights, there is a lot involved. It is the major reason why people suffering from breast cancer look for some complementary therapies to improve their health condition. Amidst of all, the symptoms and the after effects of this dreadful disease can be reduced with the help of yoga. Before you dig in for some yoga postures to help treat breast cancer, find out how it works.
How can yoga help people with breast cancer?
Here are some of the major benefits of yoga for breast cancer patients:
- Reduces discomfort: The person undergoing chemotherapy sessions has to deal with several side effects. People who perform yoga on daily basis during the treatment become capable of coping with such effects. Also it will help reducing the symptoms of chemotherapy like nausea and vomiting. Hence, adding few yoga breathing exercises can offer healthy lifestyle to those who are on chemotherapy or radiation.
- Help combat stress levels: Once a person is suspected with breast cancer, it is obvious to feel stressed and worried. To fight this state of inner agitation you can switch to yoga. Engaging regularly in a session of some yoga poses will help you to get over the disease. There are multiple studies indicating towards decrease in the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. It will reduce stress and help you cope with emotional disturbance.
- Better quality of life: Practicing yoga makes the patient feels more energetic and it improves mood, promotes sleep, and eases anxiety. Studies have revealed that yoga improves the quality of life. As the patient gets more energy, it also boosts their efficiency to tackle daily tasks.
Now when you know how yoga can improve health condition of breast cancer patients, it is right time to look for some helpful poses.
Which yoga poses can be helpful to breast cancer patients?
Cat Cow Pose: Have you been holding some tension in the torso area? You can try this movement as it strengthens your lower back and increases spine mobility. It will also decrease hip pain. When you want to add some flexibility and increase spinal fluid circulation, cat cow pose is the perfect solution.
Follow these steps:
- Start with your hands and knees on the floor. With your knees under your hips, place your wrists under your shoulders and begin in a neutral spine position. With your back flat take a deep inhale.
- When you are about to exhale, round your spine in upward direction and pull your belly button towards it. Push your chin towards your chest, slowly releasing your neck, forming a cat-like shape.
- Next when you inhale, arch your back while keeping your belly relaxed. With your head and tailbone towards the sky, getting into the cow portion of the pose.
- You have to keep flowing back and forth from Cat Pose to Cow Pose. Remember, you need to inhale for Cow Pose and exhale on Cat Pose. And repeat it for at least 10 rounds.
Seated Side Bend:
This might appear to be a simple pose but it can do wonders for your torso. Actually, it works to lengthen the abdominal muscles and this further helps with posture, neck and shoulder tension.
Follow these steps:
- Simple sit cross legged with your arms relaxed on either side of you.
- You need to reach your left arm long to the ceiling, keeping on the side of your face.
- With your right hand on the ground, crawl it over to the right and move your right forearm toward the ground.
- Move your torso to the right and revolve your chest toward the ceiling.
Another good pose to add in this list is fish pose. It is a heart opener and works ideally for lungs, chest, ribs, and upper back.
Follow these steps:
- With your forearms flat, come up to your elbows and keep your upper arms perpendicular.
- Try to move your body toward the back and place your forearms in a way to puff up your chest by rolling and tucking your shoulder blades onto the back.
- While pressing your palms, tuck your hands under your butt. Next lower the crown of your head and open your throat.
- You have to keep your legs engaged and toes active. Then press the forearms strongly and try to raise your head and release your upper body to the mat.
So these were three simple yoga poses which have been known to have positive effects on breast cancer outcomes. While you can practice the above stated poses, you can also get them personalized with help of a yoga instructor. They can alter them as per your body’s specific needs.