Study to measure methods of handling stress

The stress that comes with breast cancer doesn’t end when treatments do, but what’s the best way for survivors to cope with that anxiety — group therapy, or going Zen?

To answer that question the B.C. Cancer Agency has launched a three-year study comparing the effectiveness of two support therapies, one that uses meditation and yoga, and the other that focuses on talk therapy.


Coquitlam principal Judi Clark said she would never have realized how effective meditation could be to deal with the stress of post-treatment breast cancer until she went through it herself —twice.

"I was pretty short-tempered," she said of her disposition before she joined the meditation arm of the study last month. "I felt betrayed by my body."

"(Now) I think, ‘Challenges are a part of life, but how we react to them is our choice.’ It’s not that I don’t get afraid or angry, but I have strategies that help calm me."

Dr. Elaine Drysdale, co-investigator of the study, said both therapies help improve mood, anxiety and quality of life.

What the study will determine is if one or the other is more effective under different timelines and for different women.


  • Around 120 women are expected to participate in the study by rating their stress levels at various intervals throughout the program.

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