We all know that yoga is a fantastic and unique healing energy. But did you know that it is also powerful enough to combat cancer? Yes, it is, and it works brilliantly for breast cancer.
Breast cancer can leave you feeling terrified and confused. You’ll more likely discover yourself going through some treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, administration to drugs and in severe cases, you may have to go under mastectomy.
Breast cancer patients are usually diagnosed in the starting stages of the disease as compared to other types of cancer patients and are hence aware and active enough to practice yoga from early days itself and prevent the condition from getting worse.
What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women. In fact, it also affects Men in some rare cases. This cancer is a malicious tumour which starts in the breast cells. This malicious tumour is a collection of cancer cells which may develop into surrounding tissues to distant areas of the body.
How Does Yoga Help To Recover From Cancer Of Breast?
Yoga is useful for cancer patients to feel better and also help to fight from a various side effect of this Cancer like nausea, weakness, fatigue, and immobility. In fact, it also helps to reduce those side effects.
Yoga aids patients by improving mobility & strength and also helps to reduce anxiety & stress. Yoga helps to reduce the blood pressure and heart rate. As per the research, patients who perform yoga, those have more superior recovery and also better improvement in the life’s quality.
Yoga helps to enhance heart health, bone health, blood flow, awareness of body and respiratory system. It also helps to improve your sleep, mind (mood) and even concentration that take back seat at the time of treatment of cancer.
Experts also advise practising yoga and exercise at every stage of cancer treatment like before treatment, after treatment such as Hormonal therapies, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and even during the treatment. However, before starting yoga, the patient must consult with their doctor and then do the same under the guidance of yoga expert.
So, let’s have a look at Yoga for Breast Cancer patients for better recovery.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
Generally, breast cancer is caused by a genetic mutation in the DNA of breast cancer cells. How or why this destruction occurs isn’t entirely understood. Some modifications may develop randomly over time, while others are inherited or may be the result of environmental exposures or few lifestyle factors.
Some breast cancer risks may be avoided. Of course, you cannot control every variable that may influence your risk. Here are the critical breast cancer risk factors to know.
Age And Gender
If you are a woman and you’re becoming older, you may be under threat of developing breast cancer. The possibility begins to climb after age 40 and is highest for women in their 70s.
Having a close blood relative in the family with breast cancer increases your risk of developing the disease. A woman’s breast cancer risk is almost twice if she has a mom, sister, or daughter with breast cancer and about triple if she has two or more first-degree relatives with breast cancer.
A Breast Cancer Gene Mutation
Up to 10% to 15% of all breast cancers are thought to be inherited, and many of these cases are due to defects in one or more genes, especially the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Having these imperfect genes doesn’t mean you will get breast cancer, but the risk is higher: A woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer with a BRCA1 gene mutation, for example, may be more like 55% to 65% estimated to the average 12%.
Breast Changes And Few Conditions
Women with heavy breast size or with a personal history of breast lumps, a previous breast cancer, or certain non-cancerous breast conditions are at higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who do not have these conditions.
For women with early menstrual periods which is starting before age 12 and late menopause after the age of 55 are at higher risk of getting breast cancer.
Generally, longer exposure to the female hormone estrogen may be an element, because estrogen stimulates the growth of the cells of the breast. Likewise, use of hormone therapy after menopause appears to boost the risk of breast cancer.
And you have to know one thing which is oral birth control pills have also been linked to a small increase in breast cancer risk compared with women who never used hormonal contraception.
But that risk is temporary: More than 10 to 12 years after stopping the pill, a woman’s breast cancer risk returns to average.
Women who are suffering from weight problem after their menopause are more likely to get breast cancer. The correct reason why isn’t clear, but it may be due to higher levels of estrogen produced by fat cells after menopause.
Being obese also boosts blood levels of insulin, which may then cause breast cancer risk.
Generally, women who drink two or more alcoholic beverages regularly are 1 1/2 times more likely than non-drinkers to develop the risk of breast cancer. The risk rises with higher alcohol intake, and alcohol is known to enhance the risk of other cancers too.
A woman’s risk of increasing breast cancer may be higher than normal if she had chest radiation for another disease as a child or young adult.
Having no children or having a first child after late age 30 may also increase your risk of breast cancer.
Women who were given the now-banned drug diethylstilbestrol to avoid miscarriage decades ago face a slightly enhanced risk of breast cancer, as do their daughters.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer?
- There will be a change in size or shape of your breast
- You may get a lump or area that feels thicker than the rest of the breast
- You can see a change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like the skin of an orange)
- You may see total redness or rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
- A liquid-like substance that may come out from the nipple without squeezing manually.
- You may suffer from pain in your breast or your armpit almost all of the time
- There will be swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone.
Some people think that having breast cancer will cause other symptoms apart from a breast change, such as feeling tired, having less energy or weight loss, but this is not the case. If you notice a difference, even if you feel well, it’s essential to visit your GP.
Tips To Help You Prevent Breast Cancer
As you know that prevention is better than cure. Below are few tips to prevent breast cancer.
1. Food is always first and best! Healthy eating is needed
2. Quit your smoking
3. Avoid consumption of alcohol
4. Consume a diet low in animal-based foods
5. Exercise regularly and develop a yoga practice
6. Do regular breast exercises, self-exams, and breast massage
7. Maintain the right body composition and fat percentage of your body
8. Reduce other inflammation-causing issues in your body
9. Avoid toxins
10. Consume a good-quality protein at each meal
11. Balance mind, body and emotions with meditation, breath control, and emotional freedom exercises
12. Sleep is your best friend!
Yoga Poses That Can Help Breast Cancer Recovery
Bridge Pose (Sethu Bandhasana)
This is known as a classic yoga asana which helps strengthen the spine and improves spinal flexibility.
It also promotes good circulation and relaxation by gently stretching the muscle tissue around the breasts that is very useful for breast cancer patients.
To get into bridge pose, firstly lie flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and have them hip-width apart, bringing the soles of your feet parallel on the mat and close to your back.
Lift your back upwards toward the ceiling and rest your hands near your pelvic area. Women who are with breast cancer can perform this pose in the early morning hold this poses for at least 30 to 60 seconds.
Benefits Of Bridge Pose
This yogasana helps you in stretching chest and also helps to strengthens buttocks. In fact, it also helps to decrease the stress & mild depression. Bridge pose is best for the patients of insomnia and hypertension.
It is also one of the best pose to recover a backache and helps in balancing estrogen hormone.
Fish Pose (Adhra Matsyendrasana)
This fish pose is also called as adhra matsyendrasana; it is a half spinal twist which is named after a yogi known as Matsyendranath. This pose is the starting level of Hatha yoga asana. Breast cancer women practice this yoga asana in the morning on an empty stomach.
Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Then lift your hips and draw your forearms and elbows in toward your body.
On an inhale, bend your elbows and press firmly into your forearms and elbows to lift your head and slightly lift your upper body away from the floor and begin to find the natural curve of your spine. Repeat this for 2times. You generally need to hold it for at least 40 to 60 seconds.
Benefits Of Fish Pose
It helps to relieve fatigue and energize backbone. It also improves the flexibility of hip and also opens up the neck. In fact, it also helps to stimulate health and flushes out the toxins.
Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana)
This warrior Pose is also called as virabhadrasana; it is named after the legendary warrior Veerabhadra which was made by Lord Shiva. This yoga asana is the starting of Vinyasa yoga pose.
Begin this in a sitting position with your head facing one side of the room. Move into a sudden forward (lunge) position with your front foot to the side of the room you’re facing, then enlarge your other foot to the backside of the mat with your heel facing up.
Lie flat your back foot at the outer edge of your mat and lift your hips off the chair. Open your hips and lift your arms to the sides with your palms pressing down. You need to hold it for at least 30 seconds.
Benefits Of Warrior II Pose
Virabhadrasana II helps you in building stamina and also enhances concentration, respiration, and stability. This yoga asana helps you to strengthen muscles and also improve the cardiovascular system.
Hero Pose (Virasana)
This Hero Pose is also known as virasana, as the name suggests, it is an asana which helps patients conquer your inner turmoil and also increase as a hero. Hero Pose is a starting level of Hatha Yoga Asana. Practice this yogasana in the early morning for the best result.
Start doing in a kneeling position at the centre of a yoga mat. Start pushing your knees together as you separate your feet and bring your butt down to where the yoga blocks are stacked between your feet.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths with this pose. Virasana Asana holds for 30 to 60 seconds.
Benefits Of Hero Pose
Hero pose or Virasana helps to stretches the knees and thighs. It also helps to stimulate tired legs. In fact, this asana will also help to improve your posture. Virasana is the best Therapeutic for high blood pressure patients.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
The corpse is also called as savasana, each yoga asana generally begins and ends with this Savasana, lie-down straightly in a resting position which is the best relaxing pose. People who are with breast cancer can practice this asana anytime throughout the day.
Firstly, lie flat on the surface of your floor, ensure that there will be no disturbance for the duration of the pose. Now close your eyes by placing your legs such that they are comfortably apart.
Note that your arms must be placed along your body and slightly apart, leaving your palms open and face upwards. Finally, slowly draw attention to every area of your body, starting from your toes.
As you do this, breathe slowly, yet deeply, setting your body in a state of deep relaxation. You may fall to sleep in this process, so take care of it. Hold the position of Corpse Pose for 5 minutes to 10 minutes.
Benefits Of Savasana
Corpse yogasana is the best pose to relax the whole body. Savasana helps to reduce tension and also help to calm your mind. Corpse asana also helps to boost your neurological system and also best for mental health.
This yogasana provides you with a meditative and deep rest to your mind and body.
Crescent Pose (Anjaneyasana)
Crescent Pose is also called as Anjaneyasana. Anjaneyasana is named after Lord Hanuman. The Anjani is the name of Lord Hanuman’s mother, and Anjaneya means son of Anjani, Hanuman.
It is asana in similar to Hanuman stance. Crescents pose a beginning level of Vinyasa yoga pose.
Stand on your knees and place one leg. Open your hips and lay your back leg on the mat. If you feel easy and comfortable to proceed, you can move the blocks towards your back foot for a lower-back stretch.
Take a few slow and steady breaths. Do the same position in the front and move the blocks over the pillows, then take a few more breaths. You need hold crescents pose for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
Benefits Of Crescents
Anjaneyasana or Crescents asana help to stretches hamstrings. It also helps to make mental focus. This yogasana help to open up shoulder and also boost balance of the body.
Also, this yogasana also helps to produce core awareness and also improve digestive organs.
Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the unique and also commonly diagnosed cancer among most of the women. More than one in four cancers in women (about 28 percent) all over the world are facing breast cancer.
About one in eight women in the world are developing invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Above information helps you aiding this dangerous disease.