Yoga may help with harsh side effects of chemo, radiation

NEW YORK (CBS) - Chemotherapy and radiation can save a cancer patient's life, but the treatments can come with harsh side effects including nausea and pain.

Breast cancer survivor Tari Prinster said yoga helped her deal with the side effects of treatments years ago. She has since started a class to help other cancer patients who are going through treatment.

"It's like having the flu - you can't get out of bed, you're totally wiped out," said cancer patient Carmen Ali. "You just don't have the energy to even eat."

Ali believes yoga is really helping to ease the nausea and fatigue.

"With the yoga, you have a little more energy, a little more pep," Ali said. "You're able to do things you weren't doing before."

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, but only recently have researchers discovered how helpful the old remedy could be for cancer patients.

Studies have shown yoga can significantly ease pain, improve sleep and even reduce anxiety in cancer patients.

"When people are relaxed, they have less pain," said Dr. Benjamin Kligler with the Center for Health & Healing. "When people are relaxed, they sleep better, and when people are relaxed there's less depression."

The benefits of yoga have prompted hospitals to start their own yoga classes for cancer patients.

Currently, more than a dozen studies are being done on yoga and its impact on cancer treatments.

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