Posted on July 29, 2011 at 2:10 PM
Friday, Jul 29 at 2:30 PM
SAN ANTONIO -- Can exercise help cancer patients stay healthier and maybe even disease free? That’s what researchers with the Cancer Therapy and Research Center are trying to find out.
The new study is called Improving Mind and Physical Activity (IMPACT).
At Nydia’s Yoga Therapy, some of the students are breast cancer survivors. Michelle Hart beat back the potential killer 12 years ago.
“My natural assumption was that I was going to die,” Hart recalled. “I wasn’t convinced at the time that I would survive the diagnosis.”
Now, Hart is a regular on the yoga mat. She’s part of the IMPACT study comparing different forms of exercise.
“We’re looking for women who are breast cancer survivors, have permission from their doctors to exercise, and who are a little overweight,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Volunteers are separated into three groups. Some exercise at will. Others are given a structured program, a kind of prescription for activity. The third group practices yoga.
74-year-old Eva Vasquez is convinced the controlled breathing and stress relief she experiences during yoga helps her tremendously.
“You learn to quit worrying so much because after all, it’s mind of matter,” Vasquez said. “If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
Volunteers give saliva and blood samples, but mostly commit to regular exercise to see if it influences biomarkers for cancer risk.
“Yoga has help me connect more with my body and become more body aware and in tune,” Hart insisted. “I think it’s a critical part of healing and recovery.”
Komen for the Cure is funding this six-month study which includes 90 volunteers. Study recruitment is underway. For eligibility, call (210) 593-2669.