Effect of Singing on Cancer Patients.

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A new study published yesterday in ecancermedicalscience  concluded that singing in a choir for just one hour boosts the level of immune proteins in people affected by cancer, reduces stress and improves mood, which in turn could have a positive impact on overall health. One hundred ninety- three members of 5 different choirs were tested. Samples of saliva were taken on each member an hour before singing and again just after and analyzed for changes occurring in a number of hormones, immune protein, neuropeptides and receptors.

Results showed that singing for one hour was associated with a significant reduction in stress hormones, such as cortisol, and increases in the quantities of cytokines (protein of the immune system) that can boost the body’s ability to fight serious illnesses.  One of the researchers said “These are really exciting findings,. We have been building a body of evidence over the past six years to show that singing in a choir can have a range of social, emotional, and psychological benefits, and now we can see it has biological effects too.”  Anecdotal evidence has long shown the benefit of singing in a choir but this study. provides stronger evidence.

Study results also report that those with the lowest levels of mental well-being and highest levels of depression experienced the greatest mood improvement, associated with lower levels of inflammation in the body.  There is a link between high levels of inflammation in the body and serious illness.

A two year study is in progress that will look at the longitudinal effects of choir singing over several months including mental health, wellbewing, social support and ability to cope with cancer in addition to measuring stress

 

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