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Cancer Knowledge Network

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The Oncologist, the Patient and CKN — Sharing Knowledge

Impact and Outcomes of an Iyengar Yoga Program in a Cancer Centre

by M.D. Duncan MSc, A. Leis PhD, and J. Taylor–Brown MSW RSW. 

Current Oncology  2008


Background: Individuals have increasingly sought complementary therapies to enhance health and well-being during cancer, although little evidence of their effect is available.

Objectives: We investigated

  • how an Iyengar yoga program affects the self-identified worst symptom in a group of participants.
  • whether quality of life, spiritual well-being, and mood disturbance change over the Iyengar yoga program and at 6 weeks after the program.
  • how, from a participant’s perspective, the Iyengar yoga program complements conventional cancer treatment. Continue reading

The Soul’s Wisdom: Stories of Living and Dying

by M.L.S. Vachon, RN Phd.  

Current Oncology 2008


Cancer can lead to spiritual transformation, which can be seen as a form of alchemy. During this process, patients, family members, and even professional caregivers can find themselves having spiritual experiences that go beyond any they had previously encountered. This paper provides qualitative descriptions of the “Field” or “Soul Wisdom” experienced by patients and caregivers.

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Talking to Cancer Patients about Complementary Therapies: Is It the Physician’s Responsibility?

by M.J. Verhoef PhD,* H.S. Boon PhD, and S.A. Page PhD*.

Read the full article here:  Current Oncology 



To ensure the safety and effectiveness of cancer management, it is important for physicians treating cancer patients to know whether their patients are using complementary and alternative medicine (cam) and if so, why.

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The Healing Journey: Incorporating Psychological and Spiritual Dimensions into the Care of Cancer Patients

by A.J. Cunningham OC, PhD CPsych.

Read the full article in Current Oncology 


Research on the factors that promote healing of the body through mind and spirit is at a very early stage. Reliance on experimental designs seems premature; we need much more exploratory research to identify relevant variables and useful therapeutic approaches before applying to them the same methods used to evaluate drugs. The Healing Journey is a program that has been in operation since 1982 at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario. Observational data collection, followed by qualitative analysis has demonstrated benefits for many cancer patients.

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Prostate-specific Antigen Screening: A Primer for Residents and Medical Students

by Jonathan Klein, MD

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian men and their third-highest cause of cancer death 1. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian men carry a 14.3% lifetime chance of diagnosis and a 3.7% risk of dying from the disease 2.The discovery of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in 1970 and subsequent development and approval of measurement assays for the compound have been the subject of immense hope that it could serve as a screening marker for the disease 3,4. However, the definitive answer as to PSA’s usefulness as a screening and detection mechanism for prostate cancer has been elusive and subject to much controversy. Indeed, a recent commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine labeled the PSA-screening debate “the controversy that refuses to die” 5.

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