How can life go back to normal after cancer?

RELAXATION: Yoga is recommended during cancer recovery.
RELAXATION: Yoga is recommended during cancer recovery.

Approximately 33 per cent of women experience 'persistent fatigue' after breast cancer recovery, with growing evidence indicating that fatigue can endure for months or even years after completion of breast cancer treatment.

Fiona Scope, a yoga teacher and remedial massage therapist, believes there are options for women who should not be asking 'can life go back to normal after cancer', but 'how can life possibly go back to normal?'

"I think it is important that women take a moment to pause to think about the possibilities and don't be afraid to make changes or try something new. Becoming aware of mortality allows an individual to learn how to savour the moments and drink from the nectar of life."

On Sunday, September 29, Ms Scope is facilitating a yoga class from 10am at The Port Stephens Wellness Centre in One Mile Beach. Entry is via donation with funds going towards Olivia Newton-John's Walk for Wellness and Breast Cancer Support.

Donations will be distributed to Austin Health to support those experiencing cancer. To attend and book go to: www.wellnesscentreportstephens.com.au.

"Fatigue is often a symptom of cancer that is overlooked, not just by medical practitioners, family and friends, but also by the patient," Ms Scope said.

"Is there an unrealistic expectation to get back to what we were doing before cancer? Cancer is asking you to stop, to pause, to rethink and re-evaluate your life. To self-analyse the disease in life, circumstance, physiology and genetics.

"Depression is often found to go hand-in-hand with fatigue. Therefore responding to fatigue in the body by resting and maintaining nutritional levels is important, not just to alleviate fatigue but also to prevent depression.

Due to reduced energy levels during cancer recovery, Ms Scope recommends floor yoga as a suitable option.

"For example standing such as warrior, tree and downward dog are strenuous movements for those experiencing fatigue, while floor poses such as pigeon, camel, fish and bridge allow a student to move without placing any extra fatigue on the body.

"Yoga and meditation also provide obvious benefits of soothing the parasympathetic nervous system and circulating blood and oxygen to muscle tissue and providing oxygen and nutrients for the brain."

In 2012, the International Yoga Journal released statistics indicating a 38 per cent increase in integrated complimentary therapies established in cancer recovery programs. "Complimentary and Alternative Medicines allows the integration of yoga with conventional cancer care in a patient-centred approach that nurtures physical, emotional and spiritual well-being."