Mind Body Medicine in gynecological oncology - Evidences within an enlarged therapeutic model

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Gynakologische Praxis, 2018, 43 (4), pp. 648 - 658
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© 2018 Hans Marseille Verlag GmbH. All rights reserved. Mind Body Medicine (MBM) focusses on the interactions of mind, body, and behavior to treat physical conditions and their mental co-morbidities. This therapeutic approach goes back to ancient times and has been renewed in modern times through findings in stress and brain research. Based on Aaron Antonovsky's salutogenesis it focusses on the patient's resources as well as on stimulating self-healing, leading to a better quality of life as well as a healthier lifestyle, self-help and self-efficacy. In supportive cancer care, MBM aims at reducing symptoms and side effects of cancer and its curative or adjuvant treatment. It has been shown in meta-analyses that mindfulness-based stress reduction can significantly improve quality of life, fatigue, sleep disorders, stress, depression, and anxiety in women with breast cancer. Comparable effects were demonstrated for yoga: a recent Cochrane review demonstrated positive effects on quality of life and physical and mental symptoms in women with breast cancer. In randomized trials, hypnotherapy reduced pain and stress associated with breast biopsy and lumpectomy as well as in lumbar puncture or bone marrow aspiration. Moreover, studies found positive effects on fatigue associated with radiotherapy as well as on menopausal symptoms during endocrine treatment in women with breast cancer. In clinical practice, multimodal intervention programs are particularly promising for integrating MBM into supportive cancer care. In clinical trials, such programs demonstrated positive effects on physical and mental symptoms in mixed cancer groups. Given that individual interventions and multimodal programs seem to be not only effective but also safe, MBM can be considered as a valuable addition to supportive cancer care.
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