Alternative Way to Fight Cancer Fatigue

Breast cancer patients feel better after hypnosis.

Breast cancer treatments save lives but can also be hard for patients to tolerate. One hospital is helping women with a method that may surprise you.

Claire Zion credits hypnosis for giving her energy during her breast cancer treatment. She rode a bicycle to her radiation treatments.

Radiation treatments tend to wipe out patients.

After a double mastectomy in 2010, Zion took part in a study at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, where patients had cognitive behavorial therapy and hypnosis during treatment.

  The result: patients had more energy and reported less anxiety.

Researcher Dr. Guy Montgomery says, "feeling anxious and worried can lead to fatigue and that's one of the steps we're working with patients to be more in control, of those kinds of emotions."

Researchers found 6 months later, patients who had hypnosis and therapy still felt less fatigued.

Dr. Montgomery says, "they learned the skills that they needed to help themselves feel better over time and hopefully improve their quality of life."

Zion is cancer free but she's starting hypnosis again.  "It teaches you to find a place where you can quiet that noise and comfort yourself," she says.

She hopes the therapy will help her sleep better.

Researchers say at the end of radiation treatment, the  average patient in the hypnosis group had less fatigue than 79 percent of patients in a control group. Six months later, patients who had hypnosis had less fatigue than 95 percent of those who didn't get the extra help.

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