Research indicates that a program catering to holistic, mind-body intervention was found to do wonders in treating constant fatigue and improving quality of life in breast cancer survivors, regardless of their race.
"All women, black and white alike, reported significant improvement in fatigue post program completion, and improvement was maintained without further intervention," said Susan E. Appling of the Mercy Medical Center.
For breast cancer survivors, persistent fatigue has multiple contributing factors including pain, sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety, decreased physical activity, weight gain and treatment-induced menopausal symptoms.
The Mercy Medical Center Prevention and Research Center Team created an intervention program that consisted of relaxation techniques (i.e. deep breathing and guided imagery), optimisation of nutrition and physical activity, introduction to restorative yoga techniques, and cognitive behavioural therapy to help make positive lifestyle changes.
Fatigue rates were measured in 206 breast cancer survivors at the beginning of the program, at study completion, and two and six months after completion.
Appling and colleagues also investigated if one race benefited from the intervention more than another. One-third of the study population was black; the rest were white.
Regardless of race, results showed decreased levels of self-reported fatigue among breast cancer survivors, and sustained and improved energy after participation in the intervention program, according to Appling.
Black women had slightly higher fatigue scores across all four data collection periods compared to white women, but the difference was not statistically significant.
These results were presented at the Third AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities.