Can Meditation Help Breast Cancer Patients Cope With Stress?

November 12, 2020

Many people have been both touched by somebody in our lives who has been recognized with breast most cancers or have been affected by the illness firsthand. The Nationwide Breast Cancer Basis (NBCF) says that one in eight girls will probably be recognized and that the illness ranks because the second most typical sort of most cancers amongst girls within the US (1)(2).

And whereas these numbers can really feel scary, some hopeful information—because of enhancements in early detection—is that breast most cancers dying charges declined 40% from 1989 to 2017 (3).

meditation for cancer patients, meditation, cancer stress,

But even with these enhancements, a journey with breast most cancers—from the preliminary prognosis to therapy—might be lengthy, painful, and troublesome. To assist, meditation for most cancers sufferers in addition to different mindfulness practices are more and more being really useful to assist promote psychological and emotional well-being by way of the course of their therapy (4). A 2019 research by the Mayo Clinic confirmed that meditation can enhance fatigue, stress, and high quality of life in sufferers with breast most cancers (5). 

A breast most cancers prognosis can dramatically have an effect on an individual’s high quality of life and is usually related to elevated ranges of stress and fatigue (5). Whereas previous research have proven meditation might be an efficient instrument for breast most cancers survivors, components reminiscent of an absence of entry, excessive value, time dedication, and adherence, have made it troublesome for some to totally profit (6).

Read Study

In response, the Mayo Clinic research got down to take a better take a look at a extra reasonably priced, accessible meditation possibility and what it might do for breast most cancers sufferers. Particularly, the research checked out the usage of the transportable, wearable electroencephalographic (EEG) Muse gadget for guided meditation observe by breast most cancers sufferers—from prognosis as much as Three months after surgical therapy. 

The research enrolled girls ages 20-75 who had not too long ago been recognized with breast most cancers and deliberate to bear surgical procedure. Members have been randomly assigned to both observe guided meditation with the Muse gadget (intervention group) or obtain stress-reduction schooling from a CD (management group). Surveys have been then used to measure stress, high quality of life, and fatigue at Four totally different intervals: baseline, inside Four days earlier than surgical procedure, as much as 14 days after surgical procedure, and at Three months after surgical procedure. 

The end result?

  • Members utilizing the Muse gadget confirmed less fatigue and stress in addition to an improved high quality of life at each 2 weeks and three months after surgical procedure in contrast with their baseline.
  • Additional, the research confirmed the Muse gadget was as efficient because the stress-reduction schooling within the management group (5).
  • One other large win? Members within the Muse management group additionally had the next retention charge in sticking with a meditation observe afterwards.

Different Science-Backed Advantages of Meditation (& The way it Works)

Along with serving to cut back emotions of fatigue and stress, an plentiful quantity of analysis exists displaying quite a few different psychological well being, bodily, and emotional advantages of a meditation practice together with different wholesome life-style components(7). These embody lowered emotions of tension, in addition to a lift in consideration span, cognitive perform, and reminiscence (8). 

And the excellent news is you don’t need to disappear to an ashram or carve out hours a day to achieve the advantages. Research present as little as 5 minutes of meditation can do the job (9).


KEY TAKEAWAY: What’s key’s protecting some consistency in your observe. 5 minutes a day is simpler than only one hour on Sundays.

In spite of everything, mediation isn’t about “stopping pondering.” As an alternative, its energy is available in its means to assist us untangle our ideas and our feelings related to them. It teaches us to distance ourselves from our response to our ache, stress, or no matter it’s and easily keep current. So it is sensible that the extra typically we observe observing our feelings and sensations with out judgment, the better will probably be to react much less, and the extra we’ll profit (9). 

NBCF & Muse Serving to Breast Cancer Patients Collectively

To assist make meditation extra accessible, we’ve partnered with the Nationwide Breast Cancer Basis to assist sufferers work by way of their journey with breast most cancers. Our world-renowned academics have created a particular Cancer Consolation Assortment from our Meditation Studio app that’s free to all NBCF supporters, situated on their wellness page. Included within the assortment are mediations like “Managing Continual Ache,” “Breath as Ally,” and “Constructing Power and Resilience.”



meditation for cancer patients, meditation


And whereas meditation can’t be a most cancers remedy, it could actually assist cut back emotions of stress, nervousness, and ache related to the illness in addition to enhance emotions of calm, resilience, and compassion for these most troublesome instances in our lives. You possibly can entry the Cancer Consolation Assortment totally free on the Nationwide Breast Cancer Basis wellness page. For Muse Subscribers, entry it on the Muse app.

Start Meditating

(Cellular Solely)



  1. 2020, April 15. Breast Cancer Info. Nationwide Breast Cancer Basis. 
  2. 2020, June 8. Breast Cancer Statistics. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. 
  3. 2019, October 2. Report: Breast Cancer Dying Charges Down 40% Since 1989. (Weblog submit). American Cancer Society. 
  4. Bodily Exercise, Wellness & Diet. Nationwide Breast Cancer Basis. 
  5. Millstine, Denise M., MD; Bhangra, Anjali, M.D.; Jenkins, Sarah M., MS; Croghan, Ivana T., PhD; Stan, Daniela L., MD; Boughey, Judy C., MD; Nguyen, Minh-Doan T., MD, PhD; Pruthi, Sandhya, MD. 2019, September 30. Use of a Wearable EEG Headband as a Meditation Gadget for Ladies With Newly Identified Breast Cancer: A Randomized Managed Trial.
  6. Doheny, Kathleen. 2016, June 2. Meditation Can Help Breast Cancer Survivors. (Weblog submit). 
  7. Rosenkranz, Melissa A.;  Davidson, Richard J.; MacCoon, Donal G.; Sheridan, John F.; Kalin, Ned H.; Lutz, Antoine. A comparability of mindfulness-based stress discount and an lively management in modulation of neurogenic irritation. 
  8. 2020, October 27. 12 Science-Based mostly Advantages of Meditation. (Weblog submit). Healthline. 

2020, March 10. New Research for Novice Meditators: Studying to Stress Much less. (Weblog submit). Muse. 

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