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Yoga Can Help Women After Breast Cancer

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Many women have a hard time getting back to their regular lives following breast cancer treatment. But now, some women are finding that a modified yoga class can help in the healing. “I try to exercise most days of the week,” explained cancer survivor Kristi Evans. “Try to eat right and just have a really good attitude.”

After her diagnosis, Evans underwent treatment that included a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy and yoga. “To be with other survivors,” Evans said. “A sense of community to make my body stronger, my mind stronger.” The yoga classes offer an opportunity for Evans and others to breathe a little easier and build some new friendships.

Best of all, the yoga classes are free from Baylor All-Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth.

“As patients are diagnosed with cancer and undergo treatment, there is a lot of psychological stress,” said Dr. Chi Pham of Baylor All-Saints Medical Center. “Yoga has been a way to help with these treatments.”

“One of the biggest factors we encounter is fatigue,” Dr. Pham added — 90 percent of cancer patients are unable to get a good night’s sleep. “There is no magic pill. Yoga is able to make them feel more energized.”

Some exercises could actually make things worse for cancer patients, who often experience limited range of motion. But this particular yoga class is customized to recovering bodies. “When women undergo surgery for breast cancer, they often experience scarring that impairs their mobility,” said Dr. Pham. “Yoga helps improve that mobility.”

The Fort Worth hospital is hoping that more women take advantage of the free class, which can also benefit others who have been through a major medical procedure. “It offers a way for patients to share their experiences,” said Dr. Pham.

“I’m also able to relax and stay calm more because of yoga,” said Evans. “Have lots of fun and just live.”

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