Tags: Cancer | Cancer | treatment | chemotherapy | peripheral | neuropathy

Tango Helps Cancer Patients Regain Balance

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Thursday, 30 Jun 2016 12:22 PM

The cancer treatment chemotherapy leaves many patients with balance problems, but researchers are finding that teaching them tango may help.

Statistics show that chemotherapy, one of the most common cancer treatments, can leave 70 percent of patients with peripheral neuropathy within a month after treatment, and after six months, one-third are still struggling with this condition.

To help them recover, recent Ohio State University graduate Mimi Lamantia came up with the idea that Argentine tango might be the right antidote. “As a pre-med student, I was well aware of the balance issues these patients face, and as a dance major, I knew there was something I could do to help. So, we started teaching patients the tango,” she says.

After just five weeks of dance classes at Ohio State University Cancer Center, patients improved their balance by an average of 56 percent. Patients also had measurable changes to their core strength - which is often depleted due to muscle loss associated with cancer - and most were more likely to complete physical therapy, the researchers say.

 “Teaching them to tango not only helped them improve physically, but it had a social, creative and expressive components to it as well,” says Lamantia. “I was able to see the improvement in these individuals, not only in how they moved, but their confidence and how they walked into class. That was really beautiful to see,” she adds.

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A new study finds that teaching chemotherapy patients to tango may help them regain their balance.
Cancer, treatment, chemotherapy, peripheral, neuropathy
Thursday, 30 Jun 2016 12:22 PM
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