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'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
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Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
CANCER
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
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Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Trans Fat Labeling Gets Tricky
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Genetics, Environment Shape Sexual Behavior
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
FITNESS
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
New Methods Could Speed Production of Flu Vaccines
The Yearly Flu Shot Debate
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
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Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors

Cancer survivors who participated in a month-long program in the ancient art of yoga reported enhanced quality of life, better sleep, less fatigue and less need for sleep medications.

"This is a readily applicable approach that improves quality of life and reduces medicine intake in cancer survivors. This is a real positive," said Dr. Douglas W. Blayney, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). "This is also a creative application of scientific technique to complementary and alternative medical approaches. This applies real science.

"There is an increased importance of amelioration of the complications of therapy in long-term cancer survivors," added Blayney, who is medical director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan. "There are literally millions of patients to whom this might be applicable."

The results of the trial, the largest randomized, controlled study on this topic to date, are to be presented at ASCO's annual meeting, being held in June in Chicago.

Some 80 percent of cancer patients have trouble sleeping while undergoing treatment, and about two-thirds say the problems persist after treatment ends.

Despite these large numbers, few solutions exist.

The study authors involved 410 cancer survivors, average age 54, who had finished treatment two to 24 months before and who still reported greater-than-average sleep disruptions. Almost all of the participants were women, and three-quarters had had breast cancer, although the cancer had not spread. None had done any yoga in the past three months.

Participants were randomized either to receive regular follow-up care for cancer survivors or to receive regular care plus two 75-minute sessions of yoga per week for four weeks.

"We pulled components from gentle Hatha yoga and restorative yoga," explained study author Karen Mustian, an assistant professor of radiation oncology and community and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. "The actual components of each class included seated, standing, transitional and supine postures, and breathing exercises known as pranayama."

Emphasis was on breathing from the diaphragm rather than the chest and on mindfulness, visualization and guided meditation, she explained.

Yoga participants reported an improvement in sleep quality of 22 percent, while controls reported an improvement of only 12 percent, Mustian said.

Thirty-one percent of participants in the yoga group who had started out with clinically impaired sleep quality recovered vs. only 16 percent in the control group.

Fatigue in the yoga group was decreased by 42 percent, compared with only 12 percent in the control group.

Yoga participants reduced daytime sleepiness by 20 percent as compared to only 5 percent in the usual care group.

Quality of life improved, on average, 6 percent in the yoga group and not at all in the other group.

While the yoga group was able to get by with less sleep medication, people in the control group actually used more.

"It is possible that gentle Hatha yoga classes and restorative yoga classes might be useful to cancer survivors in communities across the U.S. in helping with side effects of cancer treatment, which help create impairments in quality of life," Mustian said. "What we can't say at this time is that other forms of yoga, such as heated, or more rigorous types of yoga would be effective in mitigating these side effects or be safe for cancer survivors."

SOURCES: May 20, 2010, news conference with: Karen Mustian, Ph.D., assistant professor, radiation oncology and community and preventive medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, and Douglas W. Blayney, M.D., ASCO president, professor, internal medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, and medical director, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Michigan Published on: May 21, 2010