Study on the Effects of Gentle Yoga on Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy

What we are studying

The purpose of this research study is to understand how gentle yoga classes may help women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer. We are interested in learning how many women will participate in gentle yoga classes via online videoconferencing during radiation therapy, and we will obtain feedback on those classes. We also want to study the effects of yoga on you and your symptoms. These results may provide important knowledge to healthcare providers who care for women with breast cancer.

Who we are studying

  • Women
  • Races:
    • White
    • African American
    • Asian
    • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
    • Other
  • All Ethnicities
  • Ages 18+

Eligibility Criteria

  • Have newly diagnosed with a histologically or cytologically confirmed breast cancer Stage I-III
  • Be more than 2 weeks post-surgery for women who have had a lumpectomy
  • A lumpectomy with an axillary node dissection or a mastectomy without reconstruction
  • OR more than 4 weeks post-surgery for women who have had mastectomy with reconstruction
  • Have access to an existing broadband internet connection and a computer (laptop or desktop; tablets are not sufficient) with a full-sized computer screen and the following specifications a)Windows® 8 RT; 7 Vista; XP or 2003 Server; Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer)Internet Explorer ® 7.0 or newer; Firefox® 4.0 or newer; Safari TM 3.0 or newer or Chrome
  • Be able to understand written/spoken English
  • NOT have practiced yoga regularly (defined as at least once per week on average) in the past 3 months
  • NOT have regularly (defined as 4 or more days per week) engaged in vigorous physical activity (i.e.; causes heavy breathing; sweating; rapid fatigue; can be sustained for short periods like running or swimming strongly) over the past 4 weeks
  • NOT be treated with a shortened course of radiation therapy

What is involved

  • Study questionnaires (3)
  • Gentle yoga classes. You will participate in yoga classes from your home or local temporary residence using Internet-based videoconferencing. You will connect to the videoconferencing website using your computer and the Internet. We will provide a web camera if you do not already have one. This format will allow you to see and interact with the instructor and other women taking the classes. You will also receive the necessary yoga equipment and a yoga DVD for optional practice on your own. You will be asked to complete at least 10 out of 12 gentle yoga classes two times per week during your 6-week course of radiation therapy. Each session will last for 75 minutes. We will ask you to record your yoga activity throughout the study using a pen and paper-based log. After you complete the yoga classes you will be asked to provide feedback about the classes as part of the last questionnaire. You will also rate several symptoms before and after each yoga class.
  • In addition to the formal classes you will be encouraged to practice yoga in your spare time during each week; however this practice will not be required.
  • Yoga is not a religion or religious-based program. An experienced yoga teacher who has specialized training in teaching yoga to individuals with cancer will lead the classes. She will adjust the classes to your needs and abilities. Classes will include yoga poses; breathing; and deep relaxation.



Contact Information

Study Coordinator
Sandra Norona
Principal Investigator
Suzanne Danhauer, PhD

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.