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CONTEXT: Breast cancer patients awaiting surgery experience heightened distress that could affect postoperative outcomes.AIMS: The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of yoga intervention on mood states, treatment-related symptoms, quality of life and immune outcomes in breast cancer patients undergoing surgery. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: Ninety-eight recently diagnosed stage II and III breast cancer patients were recruited for a randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of a yoga program with supportive therapy plus exercise rehabilitation on postoperative outcomes following surgery. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Subjects were assessed prior to surgery and four weeks thereafter. Psychometric instruments were used to assess self-reported anxiety, depression, treatment-related distress and quality of life. Blood samples were collected for enumeration of T lymphocyte subsets (CD4 %, CD8 % and natural killer (NK) cell % counts) and serum immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA and IgM). STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: We used analysis of covariance to compare interventions postoperatively. RESULTS: Sixty-nine patients contributed data to the current analysis (yoga n = 33, control n = 36). The results suggest a significant decrease in the state (P = 0.04) and trait (P = 0.004) of anxiety, depression (P = 0.01), symptom severity (P = 0.01), distress (P < 0.01) and improvement in quality of life (P = 0.01) in the yoga group as compared to the controls. There was also a significantly lesser decrease in CD 56% (P = 0.02) and lower levels of serum IgA (P = 0.001) in the yoga group as compared to controls following surgery. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest possible benefits for yoga in reducing postoperative distress and preventing immune suppression following surgery.
CONTEXT: Pre- and postoperative distress in breast cancer patients can cause complications and delay recovery from surgery.OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of yoga intervention on postoperative outcomes and wound healing in early operable breast cancer patients undergoing surgery. METHODS: Ninety-eight recently diagnosed stage II and III breast cancer patients were recruited in a randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of a yoga program with supportive therapy and exercise rehabilitation on postoperative outcomes and wound healing following surgery. Subjects were assessed at the baseline prior to surgery and four weeks later. Sociodemographic, clinical and investigative notes were ascertained in the beginning of the study. Blood samples were collected for estimation of plasma cytokines-soluble Interleukin (IL)-2 receptor (IL-2R), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interferon (IFN)-gamma. Postoperative outcomes such as the duration of hospital stay and drain retention, time of suture removal and postoperative complications were ascertained. We used independent samples t test and nonparametric Mann Whitney U tests to compare groups for postoperative outcomes and plasma cytokines. Regression analysis was done to determine predictors for postoperative outcomes. RESULTS: Sixty-nine patients contributed data to the current analysis (yoga: n = 33, control: n = 36). The results suggest a significant decrease in the duration of hospital stay (P = 0.003), days of drain retention (P = 0.001) and days for suture removal (P = 0.03) in the yoga group as compared to the controls. There was also a significant decrease in plasma TNF alpha levels following surgery in the yoga group (P < 0.001), as compared to the controls. Regression analysis on postoperative outcomes showed that the yoga intervention affected the duration of drain retention and hospital stay as well as TNF alpha levels. CONCLUSION: The results suggest possible benefits of yoga in reducing postoperative complications in breast cancer patients.