People with Cancer May Benefit from Music Therapy

Listening to music is a favorite hobby for many as it helps to relax the mind and body. Even cancer patients can benefit from this music therapy, according to a new study.

People with cancer experience severe pain and fatigue due to continuous treatment and medications. They may be stressful and anxious which can have an impact on their physical and psychological well-being.

Though studies have examined several interventions to help relieve pain due to cancer, only very few were found effective. A new study by Drexel University has analyzed whether music medicine or music therapy can have any effect on cancer patients.


Music therapy involves listening to music and sounds played using musical instruments by trained music therapists. Music medicine is about listening to pre-recorded music which could be provided either by a nurse or doctor.

About 3000 participants were offered both the music interventions. After a period, they found that music interventions had a greater effect on the physical and psychological outcomes in people with cancer.

Both kinds of music interventions reduced pain to a greater extent and moderate effect on fatigue. Not only this, it also had smaller effects on their breathing, blood pressure and heart health.

Researchers also found that music therapy improved the quality of life of people with cancer than music medicine. But they could not determine what kind of music intervention will best suit cancer patients.

Music Therapy

They concluded that listening to music may reduce the need for painkillers and lead to faster recovery. These can also reduce the time of hospitalization during cancer treatment.

Music therapy can be beneficial for anyone as it lifts the mood and makes us feel comfortable. Other studies have proved that music therapy can help patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy cope with its side effects. It can ease chemo pain and reduce frequent nausea and vomiting.

It cannot prevent or cure a disease but can help lower the chances of developing complications such as anxiety, depression, stress and mood changes.

Author: Don James

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