Yoga could bring relief for those battling cancer

Yoga could bring relief for those battling cancer
India is likely to see around 17.3 lakh new cancer cases, with over 8.8 lakh deaths by 2020

Cancer is a killer that claims numerous lives every year.

India is likely to see around 17.3 lakh new cancer cases, with over 8.8 lakh deaths by 2020, as per the data compiled by Indian Council of Medical Research. Cancers of the breast, lung and cervix are predicted to be on the rise in the coming years.

To raise awareness about the deadly disease and to battle the surrounding stigma, World Cancer Day is observed on Feb. 4 every year.

When a person is diagnosed with cancer, he or she faces both physical and psychological threats. Health professionals and oncologists feel that there is a need to intervene early and break the patient's symptom distress. Yoga has been suggested as a possible remedy.

Yoga has the potential to calm a person's mind. It helps cancer patients as well as survivors with the healing process. It is used to treat many of the patient's symptoms and to reduce the discomfort caused by cancer treatments.

Yoga Consultant Dr. Deepashree says that yoga can help a person manage stress and improve his or her quality of life. “I personally do not like to associate every person who comes to me for yoga with a disease. Rather, I would like to make them understand their health. I emphasize the power of mind that can be directed on constructive things,” she says.

Latha Menon, a businesswoman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year, sees yoga as a lifesaver. She says: “Yoga does a lot of good to one’s psyche. There is no need for heavy asanas (postures) to get our systems right. There are some gentle yoga poses to follow. Even a simple meditation can do a lot.”

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