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23 Nov

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine examine two studies that assess the immunological effects of hypnosis in patients with early stage breast cancer and find heightened natural killer (NK) cell activity...
09 Aug

Researchers from the Mind-Body Cancer Research Program at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas, launched a pilot study to investigate the effectiveness of hypnosis in reducing hot flashes in 16 breast cancer survivors.

Patients provided baseline data and received 4 weekly sessions of hypnosis that followed a standardized transcript. Patients were also instructed in self-hypnosis. Throughout the clinical care, patients completed daily diaries of the frequency and severity of their hot flashes. Patients also completed baseline and post-treatment ratings of the degree to which their hot flashes interfered with daily activities and quality of life.

25 May

Jennifer Rheingans at the College of Nursing of the University of South Florida in Sarasota reviewed the literature on symptom management using non-pharmacologic adjunctive therapies for children with cancer. This review specifically mentions acupuncture and guided imagery as therapies that offer a potential source of assistance for children with unrelenting pain, nausea, or other unpleasant symptoms due to cancer treatment.
18 May

In a pilot study, researchers from the University of Calgary find that seven sessions of Reiki help cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy with fatigue, pain, anxiety and overall quality of life..

Researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, investigated the efficacy of a technique called Reiki, a type of energy touch therapy, in helping with fatigue, pain, anxiety, and overall quality of life of cancer patients during chemotherapy treatments.

23 Mar

Researchers from Barcelona, Spain find that relaxation and guided imagery reduce anxiety, depression and body discomfort in isolated cancer patients undergoing brachytherapy (radioactive seed implantation).

Sixty-six patients were randomly assigned to either the intervention group (n=32) or the control group (n=34). Patients in both groups received training regarding brachytherapy, but only the first group received training in relaxation and guided imagery. Results were assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and on quality of life prior to, during and after brachytherapy.

08 Mar

Researchers from the University of Miami find that group cognitive-behavioral stress management improves the quality of life in breast cancer patients, the most powerful component being the ability to relax at will.

Researchers from the University of Miami tested a 10-week group cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention among 199 women newly treated for non-metastatic breast cancer, following them for 1 year after recruitment.

08 Dec

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University find that cancer patients who elect to use complementary therapies during treatment are more likely to adhere to one treatment (regardless of what it is) than many.

Researchers from the School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University (including our old friend, Gwen Wyatt from Michigan State University) explored the patterns of how complementary therapies (CTs) are used over time, and the difference in use from assigning just one over multiple therapies.

20 Nov

Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston reviewed the impact of mindfulness meditation on cancer patients. A literature search produced 9 research articles published in the past 5 years, and 5 conference abstracts published in 2004. Most studies were conducted with breast and prostate cancer patients, and the mindfulness intervention was done in a clinic-based group setting.

The search revealed consistent benefits--improved psychological functioning, reduction of stress symptoms, enhanced coping and improved sense of well-being in cancer outpatients.

10 Nov

A literature review on complementary therapies for cancer, released by the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), gives a good overview of their potential for helping with treating cancer.

An important review of the literature on CAM therapies and cancer treatment was recently released by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Generally speaking, reports of use vary by geographical area, gender, and disease diagnosis. Prevalence of CAM use among cancer patients in the United States has been reported at anywhere between 7% and 54%.

Most cancer patients use CAM with the hope of boosting the immune system, relieving pain, and controlling side effects related to disease or treatment. A minority of patients use these therapies to help with cure.

13 Feb

Researchers from the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan evaluate a post-treatment self-regulation program of self-management for 25 breast cancer patients and find it highly effective.

Researchers from the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan evaluated a program of self-management for breast cancer patients after treatment. The program, called Taking CHARGE, involved a two-pronged approach building on self-regulation principles to (1) equip women with self-management skills to address concerns following breast cancer treatment, and (2) provide information about common survivorship topics.