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Credit: Jashley Bido

Men undergoing radiation for prostate cancer might find yoga will reduce the treatment's side effects, according to a Perelman School of Medicine study published this week. 

According to Consumer Affairs, prostate cancer treatment is often associated with urination troubles, sexual dysfunction and overall fatigue. The Perelman School’s study provided evidence that yoga could relieve all of these issues.

The study looked at two groups of men receiving prostate cancer treatment. One group attended twice-weekly, 75-minute yoga classes, while the control group did not, Penn Medicine said in a press release.

Not only did the individuals performing yoga experience less fatigue over the course of their treatment, Penn Medicine said, but those who did not engage in yoga described increasing levels of fatigue as their radiation progressed. Fatigue tends to increase around the fourth and fifth week of typical prostate cancer treatment.

“Both the severity of the fatigue as well as the patients’ ability to go about their normal lives appeared to be positively impacted in the yoga group,” principal investigator Neha Vaipwala said in the Penn Medicine press release. 

The decline in sexual function that is typically seen in prostate cancer patients was largely not found in the yoga group like it was in the control group. 

The yoga participants also had improved urinary function scores, possibly because of strengthened pelvic floor muscles, Vapiwala said in the press release.

This study has delved into a new topic in scientific exploration — Penn Medicine said it is the “first randomized trial” that examines the benefits of twice-weekly yoga on issues brought about by prostate cancer treatment.

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