Navigation Links
Dragons of hope: Boat racing improves lives of breast cancer survivors
Date:2/1/2008

This release is also available in French.

The best long-term therapy for breast cancer survivors might have nothing to do with doctors or self-help books, a health researcher at McGill University says. Her prescription? Dragon boat racing.

Breast cancer survivors who participated in dragon boat racing reported significantly improved physical and mental health and coped better with post-recovery trauma, according to a study conducted by Dr. Catherine Sabiston of McGills Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. The results of her research -- conducted in Vancouver while she was a PhD student at the University of British Columbia (UBC) -- were published in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology at the end of 2007.

For these women, the diagnosis and treatment of cancer were devastating, Dr. Sabiston said. There was a huge amount of stress, which continued with the treatment and the worry of recurrence. They live every day with the worry Could this be the day my cancer comes back?

With the encouragement of Dr. Sabistons UBC colleague Dr. Don McKenzie, a number of dragon boat teams made up of breast cancer patients of varying ages and backgrounds were formed in Vancouver in the late 1990s. They continue to compete and participated in Montreals dragon boat event last summer.

Dragon boat racing is an ancient Chinese sport dating back to the 4th century BCE. The boats are long, narrow, canoe-like craft, crewed by teams of anywhere from 10 to 20 paddlers, plus a drummer at the bow and a tiller (or steerer) at the stern. Once restricted to China and to Chinese expatriate communities, over the last quarter-century the sport has become increasingly popular worldwide, particularly on Canadas west coast.

Up until about ten years ago, it was commonly believed that if you had breast cancer, you shouldnt be physically active, and you certainly shouldnt do upper body physical activity, Dr. Sabiston said. Dr. McKenzie changed the medical thinking in that regard.

For her part, Dr. Sabistons study followed 20 dragon boaters with varying levels of experience to address a paucity of qualitative data in the field.

Most of the previous literature on exercise and breast cancer has been from a quantitative assessment of physiological benefits, she said. There wasn't anything that looked at how these women actually perceive exercise. We were trying to figure out whether having an environment where all these women exercised together enhanced or dispelled the myths around body image. We also wanted to look at how social support played a role in their recovery.

Dr. Sabistons results, based on in-person interviews, demonstrated the positive benefits of the activity. Positive psychological growth following this traumatic event was extremely clear in these findings, she said. The physical activity itself and the women the participants met acted as a sort of buffer to the enduring stresses of cancer recovery. They started to live their lives like athletes. It was extremely empowering.

Interestingly, the positive results appeared to be dependent on a shared sense of what Dr. Sabiston termed similar otherness. While the breast cancer survivors perceived each other as similar despite considerable differences in age, body type and fitness levels, a similar intervention with overweight women did not produce the same effect.

With the breast cancer survivors, if you survived the disease, you were part of the group, she said. Whereas the overweight women like other groups started to compare and contrast themselves to one another. They simply did not perceive themselves as similar others.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Shainblum
mark.shainblum@mcgill.ca
514-398-2189
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Demonstrates Marteks Algal DHA Oil Improves Blood Triglyceride Lipid Levels
2. Exercise and yoga improves quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer
3. Enhanced PrecyseCode 2X(TM) Further Accelerates Remote Coding and Improves Cash Flow for Hospitals
4. Weight-based dosing of ribavirin improves outcomes for patients with hepatitis C
5. Kerry Extends, Improves Small Business Innovation Program
6. Thalidomide Improves Outcomes for Older Myeloma Patients
7. Grape Consumption Improves Antioxidant Capacity in Humans
8. JCSM: CPAP therapy improves symptoms of depression in OSA patients
9. Early intervention dramatically improves outcomes for new dialysis patients
10. New technique improves purity of medicines
11. Novel medication improves ovarian cancer treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... PLAINSBORO, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... same sources, yet in many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, ... Oncology (EBO), a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to ... app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry ... fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) ... Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing ... With this clearance, Roche is the first IVD company ... for sepsis risk assessment and management. PCT ... PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians in assessing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on ... today announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing ... Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. ... in the third quarter of 2016, and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: