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Breast Cancer Survivors Sought for Two Studies to Test Mind-Body Treatments to Fight Fatigue
Posted Date: 5/8/2007
Dr. Julie BowerResearchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center are seeking 100 volunteers for two studies that will test mind-body approaches to fight post-treatment fatigue in breast cancer survivors.

The studies, funded by the National Institutes of Health, will compare different types of mind-body treatments, including yoga and health education, in two groups of women, one group aged 65 to 75 and one aged 40 to 65. Study volunteers need to have completed their primary treatment to qualify for the study.

Breast cancer survivors can be disabled by fatigue, with serious effects on overall quality of life, said Dr. Julie Bower, a researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, an assistant professor of psychology, psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and principal investigator for the studies.

Bower found previously that more than 30 percent of breast cancer survivors report problems with fatigue as long as 10 years after their diagnosis.

"Fatigue is one of the most common and distressing side effects of breast cancer and its treatment," Bower said. "Finding effective ways to fight that fatigue may provide survivors with a much improved quality of life."

Fatigue is defined as feeling tired, weak and/or having a lack of energy. A pilot study led by Bower using yoga to relieve fatigue in breast cancer survivors yielded promising results. Other studies have shown that yoga and other mind-body therapies can relieve stress and improve well-being in cancer survivors.

The form of yoga used in the studies will not be strenuous, Bower said, but instead be restful and restorative. Classes will be held in West Los Angeles. For more information or to volunteer for the study, call (310) 267-4423.

UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center comprises more than 240 researchers and clinicians engaged in disease research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. One of the nation's largest comprehensive cancer centers, the Jonsson center is dedicated to promoting research and translating basic science into leading-edge clinical studies. In July 2006, the Jonsson Cancer Center was named the best cancer center in California by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking it has held for seven consecutive years.

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