Kate from Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia asked:

Does meditation help cancer patients?

Meditation and cancer

I've been told that different types of meditation have been recommended for cancer patients. Does it work?

The source:
Our answer

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that meditation can help to prevent, treat or cure cancer. However, meditation may help to improve cancer patients’ quality of life. A UK review of the research found that mindfulness meditation may help people with cancer feel more positive and optimistic, and may help reduce side-effects and symptoms such as anxiety and nausea. Only a few clinical trials involving small numbers of patients have been done. A controlled study published in 2000 found that cancer patients who did mindfulness based stress reduction meditation had 31 per cent lower stress symptoms and 67 per cent less mood disturbance than those who did not meditate. An independent panel convened by the US National Institutes of Health found that meditation might be useful for treating chronic pain and sleeping problems such as insomnia. More quality research is needed to establish whether, and how, meditation can help people with cancer.

This page was last updated on: June 23, 2014

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