Cancer and its treatment process are generally related to some physical (e.g. fatigue, pain) and psychological (e.g. stress, anxiety, depression) side effects changing from mild to severe. Approximately 53% of the cancer patients have pain from the diagnosis through survivorship or end of life, while 38% of patients experience mood disorders and psychosocial deficits (8,9,10).
Cancer patients also experience cognitive impairments, including attention, memory and executive deficits. Researchers (11) suggest that meditation can take a role as a mental training that improves cognitive skills. Because meditation helps people to release other thoughts, it can also help people with cancer to focus on coping and to reduce irritable thoughts. Additionally, meditation may help to regulate stress-induced cortisol levels, thereby, to reduce stress level and enhance sleep quality (12,13,14). According to David et al. (15), meditation takes a role to reset frontal systems which regulate the sense of self and the emotional system.
In a study (16), it was found that meditation-based stress reduction techniques helped cancer patients to reduce their anxiety, depression, anger, confusion, and stress levels, compared to control group and improved the patients’ coping skills with cancer. While the total decrease in mood disturbance was 61%, decrease in the level of stress was 31%.
- Van den Beuken, van Everdingen (2012). Chronic pain in cancer survivors: A growing issue. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother, 26, 385-387.
- Mitchell, A. J., Chan, M., Bhatti, H. et al. (2011). Prevalence of depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorder in oncological, haematological, and palliative-care settings: A meta-analysis of 94 interview-based studies. Lancet Oncol, 12, 160-174.
- Porter, L. S., & Keefe, F. J. (2011). Psychosocial issues in cancer pain. Current Pain Headache Rep, 15, 263- 270.
- Biegler, K. A., Chaoul, M. A., & Cohen, L. (2009). Cancer, cognitive impairment and meditation. Acta Oncologica, 48, 18-26.
- Carlson, L. E., & Garland, S. N. (2005). Impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on sleep, mood, stress and fatigue symptoms in cancer outpatients. Int J Behav Med, 12, 278-285.
- Carlson, L. E., Speca, M., Faris, P., & Patel, K. D. (2007). One year pre-post intervention follow-up of psychological, immune, endocrine and blood pressure outcomes of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in breast and prostate cancer outpatients. Brain Behav Immun, 21, 1038-1049.
- Carlson, L. E., Speca, M., & Patel, K. D. (2003). Goodey E. Mindfulness based stress reduction in relation to quality of life, mood, symptoms of stress, and immune parameters in breast and prostate cancer outpatients. Psychosom Med, 65, 571-581.
- Davidson, R. J. (2000). Affective style, psychopathology, and resilience: Brain mechanisms and plasticity. Am Psychol, 55, 1196-1214.
- Lynette, A., Pujol, M., & Monti, D. A. (2007). Managing cancer pain with nonpharmacologic and complementary therapies. JAOA, 107, 15-21.