Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy

Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy
Open Access

ISSN: 2157-7595

+44 1478 350008


Effects of Exercise on Mood in Patients with Breast Cancer

Helena van Oers

Breast cancer continues to be one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide and this trend is also true of the situation in South Africa. The increasing efficacy of treatments brings about a therapeutic paradox, whereby patient survival intervals improve but many experience marked psychological distress following their diagnosis and treatment, sometimes for long periods thereafter. Patients experiencing such distress are typically treated with antidepressants or anxiolytics and/or referred for psychotherapy. It has long been acknowledged that physical exercise has concomitant psychological benefits; however these benefits have not been routinely experienced by breast cancer patients who have historically been advised to rather reduce their levels of physical activity to relieve cancerrelated fatigue. Recent findings show that the opposite may be true and that appropriate physical activity may play an important role in elevating mood and thereby improving physical recovery. This allows health-care professionals access to an important additional resource in the quest to improve patients’ quality of life and their recovery posttreatment. Critically, however, the type of activities that patients are advised to follow must be individually designed to suit each patient’s capabilities.