Music Helps Ease Pain and Fatigue of Breast Cancer, Study Shows

Music Helps Ease Pain and Fatigue of Breast Cancer, Study Shows
Listening to music at home can considerably ease the severity of symptoms related to breast cancer and its treatments, helping reduce the pain and fatigue patients experience, a trial reports. It found that setting time aside nearly every day for music significantly lessened patients' intensity of pain and overall fatigue for up to 24 weeks, the trial's length. Significant improvements in mental and physical fatigue were also evident initially, after six or 12 weeks of this therapy, but  did not last. Its researchers recommend that people with breast cancer take time to listen to music they enjoy each day, as it can "distract" them from pain and encourage positive thinking. "Music facilitates the production of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin in the brain," the researchers wrote, and "these chemicals arouse joy and positive emotions to reduce negative thoughts associated with cancer." Their study, "Effect of home‐based music intervention versus ambient music on breast cancer survivors in the community: A feasibility study in Taiwan," was published in the European Journal of Cancer Care. Prior studies suggested that music therapy alleviates some of fatigue and pain associated with cancer, so researchers in Taiwan evaluated if such therapy taken at the home could help people with breast cancer, "the second highest cause of women mortality worldwide." They conducted a randomized and controlled study, with 60 patients randomly assigned to listen to music at home for 30 minutes five days a week, or to ambient music — in this case, "
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