Yoga, meditation and mindfulness can help cancer patients in a number of ways. They can reduce the stress and anxiety that come with a cancer diagnosis. They can alleviate depression, boost mood, improve the ability to sleep and contribute to quality of life. 

They can also help manage physical symptoms and the side effects of treatment – lowering blood pressure, improving immune function, impacting on pain levels, increasing energy and vitality so medication can be better handled even, according to one study, modulating DNA damage in radiotherapy. 

Meditation and mindfulness can help us stay in the present moment, rather than worrying about what might, or might not be. The sense of community in class can also be a great comfort. Finding people going through the same experience, or who have been there and come out the other side, can do wonders for stress levels, and the soul.

What the clinical studies say


  • Alleviates depression 
  •  Beneficial effects on physical function 
  • Beneficial effects on psychological symptoms 
  • Beneficial effects on somatic symptoms 
  • Higher levels of acceptance 
  • Higher levels of invigoration 
  • Improves cognitive function 
  • Improves emotional function/wellbeing 
  • Improves mood 
  • Improves patient's adjustment to disease 
  • Improves physical fitness 
  • Improves quality of life 
  • Improves sleep quality 
  • Improves social wellbeing 
  • Improves social wellbeing 
  • Improves spiritual wellbeing 
  • Increases ability to relax 
  • Influences levels of melatonin on breast and prostate tumors 
  • Lower levels of pain 
  • Lowers depression 
  • Lowers tension 
  • Modulates DNA damage in radiotherapy 
  • Reduces anxiety 
  • Reduces cancer-related distress 
  • Reduces cancer-related symptoms 
  • Reduces cognitive disorganization 
  • Reduces confusion 
  • Reduces fatigue 
  • Reduces gastrointestinal symptoms 
  • Reduces irritability 
  • Reduces mood disturbance 
  • Reduces stress
  • Alleviates depression 
  • Boosts vigour 
  • Decreases cortisol levels 
  • Improves ability to cope 
  • Improves immune function 
  • Improves psychosocial adjustment to disease 
  • Improves quality of life 
  • Improves sleep quality 
  • Increases energy 
  • Lowers anxiety 
  • Lowers blood pressure 
  • Lowers fear of recurrence 
  • Lowers mood disturbance 
  • Reduces anger 
  • Reduces anxiety 
  • Reduces confusion 
  • Reduces fatigue 
  • Reduces irritability 
  • Reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines 
  • Reduces stress symptoms

the clinical studies


Psychological adjustment and sleep quality in a randomized trial of the effects of a Tibetan yoga intervention in patients with lymphoma

Effects of yoga on the quality of life in cancer patients

Restorative yoga for women with breast cancer: findings from a randomized pilot study

Effects of an Integrated Yoga Program in Modulating Psychological Stress and Radiation-Induced Genotoxic Stress in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy

Yoga for women with metastatic breast cancer: results from a pilot study

An evidence-based review of yoga as a complementary intervention for patients with cancer

Yoga for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Randomized Controlled Trial of Yoga Among a Multiethnic Sample of Breast Cancer Patients: Effects on Quality of Life

A pilot study of yoga for breast cancer survivors: physical and psychological benefits


Self-report Mindfulness as a Mediator of Psychological Well-being in a Stress Reduction Intervention for Cancer Patients—A Randomized Study

Mindfulness-based stress reduction in relation to quality of life, mood, symptoms of stress and levels of cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and melatonin in breast and prostate cancer outpatients

Mindfulness‐Based Stress Reduction in Relation to Quality of Life, Mood, Symptoms of Stress, and Immune Parameters in Breast and Prostate Cancer Outpatients

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as supportive therapy in cancer care: systematic review

Effect of mindfulness based stress reduction on immune function, quality of life and coping in women newly diagnosed with early stage breast cancer

Randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for survivors of breast cancer

Mindfulness-based stress reduction in the treatment of sleep disturbance in women with breast cancer: an exploratory study

The effects of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program on mood and symptoms of stress in cancer outpatients: 6-month follow-up

A Randomized, Wait-List Controlled Clinical Trial: The Effect of a Mindfulness Meditation-Based Stress Reduction Program on Mood and Symptoms of Stress in Cancer Outpatients

The efficacy of mindfulness-based stress reduction in the treatment of sleep disturbance in women with breast cancer: An exploratory study

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


Effects of meditation on anxiety, depression, fatigue, and quality of life of women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer

"Meditation and prostate cancer: integrating a mind/body intervention with traditional therapies."