Researchers explore the impact of dance therapy in patients with breast cancer

Cancer is a public health problem that is currently the second leading cause of death throughout the world. Its occurrence has increased in both developing as well as developed countries.

Study: Effects of dance therapy in women with breast cancer: A systematic review protocol. Image Credit:  Eugene Titov/Shutterstock
Study: Effects of dance therapy in women with breast cancer: A systematic review protocol. Image Credit: Eugene Titov/Shutterstock

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and is becoming a primary health issue for society. It is the most common type of cancer prevalent in Brazil.

Women suffering from breast cancer have more risk of developing metabolic diseases along with acute pain.

Background

A few of the common symptoms of cancer include fatigue, pain, and sleep disorders. These interfere with an individual’s daily activities and can also lead to the degradation of muscle protein without an increase in the synthesis of protein. Women often face negative body image issues that can impact their mental health leading to depression. Patients can thus experience adverse effects and symptoms even after the treatment is completed. Therefore, it is necessary to identify treatment options that can reduce the symptoms of cancer.

Several medications and therapeutic interventions are accessible to patients suffering from cancer. However, non-medical interventions have also been found to reduce adverse effects. In this regard, research is being carried out to identify the impact of dance therapy on breast cancer patients. Dance therapy is a psychotherapeutic tool that along with music can become motivational. It can help to improve both physical and mental health. The physical benefits of dance therapy include reduction of pain, cancer-related fatigue, and improved sleep quality. It also allows the externalization of an individual’s feelings along with an increase in certain neurotransmitters that improve the mental well-being of cancer patients.

A new study published in PLOS One aimed to determine the impact of dance therapy on pain, sleep disorder, cancer-related fatigue, depression, and body image in women with breast cancer.

About the study

The study involved women with breast cancer (stages I to III) who were undergoing traditional treatment such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiotherapy, and/or surgery. Thereafter, several databases such as Virtual Health Library, Pubmed, Web of Science, SciVerse Scopus, SciELO, PEDro, and Cochrane Library were searched for identification of studies with the mentioned interventions followed by data extraction.

Findings

The results reported that patients undergoing dance therapy during oncologic treatment showed a reduction in treatment side effects. However, the dance therapy results are not clear and analysis of dance therapy programs for women with breast cancer is difficult.

Further research needs to be carried out to determine the impact of dance therapy on the symptoms of breast cancer. This will help to obtain conclusive evidence on the impact of dance therapy to support clinical practice in these patients.

Limitations

The study may have four prominent limitations, scarcity of available studies, heterogeneity of experimental protocols, the methodological quality of the studies, and absence of data from the studies.

Journal reference:
Suchandrima Bhowmik

Written by

Suchandrima Bhowmik

Suchandrima has a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Microbiology and a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Microbiology from the University of Calcutta, India. The study of health and diseases was always very important to her. In addition to Microbiology, she also gained extensive knowledge in Biochemistry, Immunology, Medical Microbiology, Metabolism, and Biotechnology as part of her master's degree.

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