Mindfulness meditation can help reduce anxiety during prostate cancer monitoring

mindfulness meditation

In a recent pilot study led by the Northwestern University, researchers find that men with prostate cancer who are under close medical monitoring had greater resilience and less anxiety over time after preforming mindfulness meditation.

In men who choose active cancer monitoring when diagnosed with prostate cancer, the anxiety and uncertainty can cause 1/4 to receive therapies within 1-3 years, even when there is no sign of tumor progression.

To reduce the negative effects of anxiety during medical monitoring, researchers studied the emotional stress of monitoring and how mindfulness training could help reduce the anxiety.

Mindfulness meditation is a well-known contemplative awareness practice dating back some 2,500 years. It is a form of meditation designed to develop the skill of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with acceptance, patience and compassion.

It’s very understandable that some men will feel concerned with the knowledge that they indeed have prostate cancer but are asked to not do anything to remove it.

For many men this can create a great deal of inner turmoil. This turmoil can build up over time and eventually lead to men seeking surgical intervention when it may not ultimately be necessary.

Based on the pilot result, researchers now are conducting a 5-year multi-site study, where men and their spouses will be randomized to 8 weeks of intensive mindfulness meditation training or an 8-week non-meditation control group.

Researchers believe they have an opportunity to investigate and equip men with additional tools above and beyond surgical intervention that can help them manage cancer-related uncertainty intolerance.

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News source: Northwestern University.
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