Pink Up: New yoga class is helping cancer patients

Pink Up: New yoga class is helping cancer patients

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A unique, new class at Saint Francis Healthcare System is benefiting cancer patients, their families and even their doctors.

“I finished treatment three weeks ago but my body is still kind of wondering what’s going on,” explained Angela Roper. “I was put into surgical menopause."

Roper said after being diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer earlier this year, this yoga class helps her feel like her old self again.

“Yoga was just gentle enough for me to kinda slide right into something to get my body moving again,” said Roper.

A few times a week a conference room transforms into a yoga studio at the hospital. Yoga instructor Sara McNeil said the benefits for both the mind and body are exceptional.

“One of the main reasons yoga is so good for cancer patients and survivors is that it helps to strengthen the immune system,” said McNeil. “It does this in part by triggering properly done, the parasympathetic nervous system.”

This unique yoga class encourages not only cancer patients and their families to join, but also their doctors.

“I think it’s great to build those relationships and do this together,” explained oncologist Mark Meadors. He said yoga helped him with his aches and pains and said there is concrete evidence it can help his patients too.

“Specifically to cancer there is data with fatigue and cancer related fatigue and sleep,” said Meadors. “There is actually clinical trials that would suggest that this is more beneficial than sleep aides or pharmacological interventions.”

These classes happen on Tuesdays at 1 p.m., Wednesdays at 9 a.m. and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m.

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