According to study, hearing music can reduce the pain felt by cancer patients


Illustration Illustration - A study in Taiwan shows listening to music at home can reduce pain and fatigue in cancer patients. In addition, listening music can also reduce other symptoms such as loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating.

In the study, breast cancer patients were given the task of listening to music for 30 minutes five times a week. Surprisingly, this can reduce the side effects of cancer for 24 weeks. The study reported in the European Journal of Cancer Care describes patients saying music helps their physical and psychological well-being because it keeps negative thoughts about cancer out of their mind.

Overall, the researchers added that music can affect the functioning of the cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, skeletal, nervous and metabolic systems as well, alleviating muscle tension and pain. "Music therapy is comfortable, it does not involve invasive procedures and can be easily used by people in their own comfort at home" study author Kuei-Ru Chou from Taipei Medical University was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The researchers recruited 60 breast cancer patients and randomly assigned half of them to a group that would listen to music at home using an MP3 player provided by the study team with a choice of classical music, parlour, popular music, Taiwanese music, and others. Patients were also asked about how often they listen to the music.

The researchers found a difference when patients had not undergone surgery and after 6, 12 and 24 weeks after listening to music. As a result, the symptom severity score in the music therapy group fell by five points at the six-week assessment, seven points at 12 weeks and almost nine points after 24 weeks. Pain scores and overall fatigue scores dropped at each assessment as well.

Researchers are also interested in learning how and why music therapy reduces symptoms and pain. Speculative writers might hear music promoting endorphins, dopamine and serotonin in the brain, these chemicals can trigger excitement and positive emotions that distract patients from negative emotions.


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