The survival rate of breast cancer has been improving over the last 30 years, increased from 82 percent of women diagnosed between 1971 and 1975 to 96 percent of women between 2004 and 2006.
However the emotional strain of being diagnosed with breast cancer doesn’t simply stop upon being given the all clear. Some studies have found that as many as 50 percent of breast cancer survivors suffer from depression .
Recent research has examined the effect of an 8 week course of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on the health and wellbeing of breast cancer survivors. MBSR consists of 2 hours weekly sessions of mindfulness training which included meditation techniques, yoga exercises and strategies to heighten physical body awareness.
The conclusions published in the Western Journal of Nursing Research, found cancer survivors who adopted the techniques taught in the MBSR course lowered respiratory rate, blood pressure and heart rate, all recognised indications of stress reduction. Additionally participant cancer survivors reported a significant increase in mood and said they would continue to practice mindfulness reportedly due to the positive effects they had experienced.