Yoga for Cancer

Yoga for Cancer

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally, human cells grow and multiply (through a process called cell division) to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place.

Sometimes this orderly process breaks down, and abnormal or damaged cells grow and multiply when they shouldn’t. These cells may form tumors, which are lumps of tissue. Tumors can be cancerous or non-cancerous (benign).

Cancerous tumors spread into, or invade nearby tissues and can travel to distant places in the body to form new tumors (a process called metastasis). Cancerous tumors may also be called malignant tumors. Many cancers form solid tumors, but cancers of the blood, such as leukemias, generally do not.

Benign tumors do not spread into, or invade nearby tissues. When removed, benign tumors usually don’t grow back, whereas cancerous tumors sometimes do. Benign tumors can sometimes be quite large, however. Some can cause serious symptoms or be life-threatening, such as benign tumors in the brain.

Differences between Cancer Cells and Normal Cells

Cancer cells differ from normal cells in many ways. For instance, cancer cells:

  1. Grow in the absence of signals telling them to grow. Normal cells only grow when they receive such signals.
  2. Ignore signals that normally tell cells to stop dividing or to die (a process known as programmed cell death, or apoptosis).
  3. Invade into nearby areas and spread to other areas of the body. Normal cells stop growing when they encounter other cells, and most normal cells do not move around the body.
  4. Tell blood vessels to grow toward tumors. These blood vessels supply tumors with oxygen and nutrients and remove waste products from tumors.
  5. Hide from the immune system. The immune system normally eliminates damaged or abnormal cells.
  6. Trick the immune system into helping cancer cells stay alive and grow. For instance, some cancer cells convince immune cells to protect the tumor instead of attacking it.
  7. Accumulate multiple changes in their chromosomes, such as duplications and deletions of chromosome parts. Some cancer cells have double the normal number of chromosomes.
  8. Rely on different kinds of nutrients than normal cells. In addition, some cancer cells make energy from nutrients in a different way than most normal cells. This lets cancer cells grow more quickly.

Many times, cancer cells rely so heavily on these abnormal behaviors that they can’t survive without them. Researchers have taken advantage of this fact, developing therapies that target the abnormal features of cancer cells. For example, some cancer therapies prevent blood vessels from growing toward tumors, essentially starving the tumor of needed nutrients.

Yoga for Cancer


What is Yoga?

According to Bhagwad Gita Equanimity, Stability, Balance, Harmony, Equipoise is yoga i.e. Samatvam Yoga Ucchyate.

According to Sage Vashistha, yoga is the skill to calm down the mind i.e. Manah Prasanna up ayah yoga.

And according to Great Sage Maharishi Patanjali yoga is the cessation of mental modifications i.e. Yoga is to gain mastery over modifications of Mind.

According to Guruji Shubham Barwala Ji, yoga is the recognition of Mental Modifications the moment they arise in our consciousness.

According to Guruji Neeraj Medharthi, Ji Yoga is the state of perfect balance.

Evidence-based yoga therapy or Yoga for Cancer

At Vedamrita our purpose is to bring the best and scientific research and evidence-based yoga therapy to our beloved readers and our students likewise and thereby increasing the general acceptability of Yoga therapy amidst the field of various treatments available. Below are a few research papers we find out related to Yoga and Cancer.

Research Papers: –

Review of yoga therapy during cancer treatment

Danhauer SC, Addington EL, Sohl SJ, Chaoul A, Cohen L. Review of yoga therapy during cancer treatment. Support Care Cancer. 2017 Apr;25(4):1357-1372. DOI: 10.1007/s00520-016-3556-9. Epub 2017 Jan 7. PMID: 28064385; PMCID: PMC5777241.

Yoga for the Management of Cancer Treatment-Related Toxicities

Lin PJ, Peppone LJ, Janelsins MC, Mohile SG, Kamen CS, Kleckner IR, Fung C, Asare M, Cole CL, Culakova E, Mustian KM. Yoga for the Management of Cancer Treatment-Related Toxicities. Curr Oncol Rep. 2018 Feb 1;20(1):5. DOI: 10.1007/s11912-018-0657-2. PMID: 29388071; PMCID: PMC5901971.

Yoga into Cancer Care: A Review of the Evidence-based Research

Agarwal RP, Maroko-Afek A. Yoga into Cancer Care: A Review of the Evidence-based Research. Int J Yoga. 2018 Jan-Apr;11(1):3-29. DOI: 10.4103/enjoy.IJOY_42_17. PMID: 29343927; PMCID: PMC5769195.

Yoga for improving health-related quality of life, mental health, and cancer-related symptoms in women diagnosed with breast cancer

Cramer H, Lauche R, Klose P, Lange S, Langhorst J, Dobos GJ. Yoga for improving health-related quality of life, mental health, and cancer-related symptoms in women diagnosed with breast cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jan 3;1(1): CD010802. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010802.pub2. PMID: 28045199; PMCID: PMC6465041.

Influence of Yoga on Cancer-Related Fatigue and Mediational Relationships Between Changes in Sleep and Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Nationwide, Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial of Yoga in Cancer Survivors

Lin PJ, Kleckner IR, Loh KP, Inglis JE, Peppone LJ, Janelsins MC, Kamen CS, Heckler CE, Culakova E, Pigeon WR, Reddy PS, Messino MJ, Gaur R, Mustian KM. Influence of Yoga on Cancer-Related Fatigue and Mediational Relationships Between Changes in Sleep and Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Nationwide, Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial of Yoga in Cancer Survivors. Integr Cancer Ther. 2019 Jan-Dec;18:1534735419855134. DOI: 10.1177/1534735419855134. PMID: 31165647; PMCID: PMC6552348.

Panch Kosha Based Yoga Therapy or Yoga for Cancer

 Yogic Diet – Yoga for Cancer

  • Eat on time. Chew food properly.
  • Sattvic home-cooked meals.
  • Increase the intake of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. Include high-fiber foods such as vegetables.
  • Keep the body well hydrated.
  • Avoid processed and refined foods. Try to avoid nerve stimulants such as tea, coffee, alcohol, dark chocolate.

Asanas – 8 Yoga Poses for Cancer

  • Sukhshama Vyayama
  • Sukhasana (Easy Sitting Pose)
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist)
  • Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
  • Pashimottanasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Gomukhasana
  • Ustrasana

Kriyas – Yoga for Cancer

  • Jala Neti/ Sutra Neti
  • Vamana Dhauti
  • LSP
  • Kapalabhati 20-30 strokes per min

Pranayama – Yoga for Cancer

  • Pranav Pranayam
  • Nadishuddhi (Min. 30 Min)
  • Bhramari
  • Sectional breathing
  • Ujjayi

Manomaya Kosha – Yoga for Cancer

  • Yoga Nindra
  • Bhajan
  • Chanting
  • Emotional counseling
  • Prayer
  • Mind Sound Resonance Technique (M.S.R.T.)

Vijnanamaya Kosha – Yoga for Cancer

  • Counseling about the disease, triggering factors, diet

Anandamaya Kosha – Yoga for Cancer

  • Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Spend time with family and loved ones.

Explore this Health Topic to learn more about Yoga for Cancer, the role of yoga and yoga therapy for various diseases, and where to find more information regarding it.

Read more about Yoga for Cancer

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