Having a twice-a-week yoga practice has recently been shown to be effective at reducing symptoms of fatigue in people with cancer, as well as reducing the likelihood of a beaten cancer from returning.

18 million people around the world develop various forms of cancer every year, and it’s well known that physical inactivity increases the risk of getting cancer.

On top of that, it’s known that most forms of exercise help prevent it – and the same is true for yoga, which has been the subject of an investigation by what The Guardian newspaper called “the world’s leading cancer researchers.”

Three studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s largest cancer conference, suggest that prescribing rest for a patient suffering from low energy levels or fatigue is not the best health measure.

In one of the studies, directed by the University of Rochester Medical Centre, 500 cancer patients who had received a treatment program for their cancer between 2 weeks and 5 years in the past were randomly assigned to either a control group or an intervention group that involved two 75-minute yoga classes per week.

“Our data suggest that yoga significantly reduces inflammation among cancer survivors,” the study’s authors wrote in a report published at the ASCO meeting.

“Clinicians should consider prescribing yoga for survivors experiencing inflammation, which may lead to a high chronic toxicity burden and increased risk of progression, recurrence, and second cancers.”

One of the many, many societal benefits enjoyed worldwide from the existence of Indian culture, yoga is probably the best form of low-intensity exercise available to a human, as it increases heart rate, engages whole muscle groups, and deepens the breath.

“What I say to doctors is you should recommend yoga to cancer patients as an option, and you should help them find places in their community where they can do it,” Karen Mustian, the paper’s lead researcher, told The Guardian.

In the second study, also led by Rochester, researchers examined yoga’s impact on fatigue and quality of life.

Senior cancer patients who attended the same yoga class schedule showed lower levels of fatigue and reported higher statistically significant levels of life satisfaction.

A third study found cancer patients who are classified as ‘active’ such as those who might take a 30-minute brisk walk, have a reduced risk of death by almost one-fifth.

“We also have to educate the family,” said Dr. Jurema Telles de Oliveira Lima, who oversaw the third study.

“Because it’s very common that the family wants to protect the older person when they have cancer. We have to tell the family that physical activity can be best for the patient, and this is psychologically as well.”