Facing life after cancer is challenging. Through Living with Ease, a mindfulness-based stress reduction program for women cancer survivors, women will learn how to reduce stress using techniques such as:

  • mindful yoga
  • eating
  • communication
  • meditation

This free program addresses concerns common to female cancer survivors, including fear of recurrence, body image and sexuality.

This program is led by Ruth Lerman, M.D., an experienced practitioner, teacher and researcher of mindfulness-based programs; she is also a breast cancer survivor since 1994. It is offered four times a year, as an eight week program. Sessions meet on Tuesday evenings, at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. In addition, there is one all-day retreat/reunion scheduled on the weekend between the sixth and seventh classes; alumnae from previous groups are welcome to attend. All participants receive CDs of the meditation and yoga practices taught in class, to support home practice, a crucial component of the program’s success.

Who is eligible?

Living with Ease is offered to women who have completed their cancer treatment and/or are involved in long-term medical therapy. Women in treatment may also participate; the program is open to all, regardless of where they received treatment. It's free of charge, thanks to the generosity of donors to the Beaumont Health Foundation. Interested candidates must attend an informational registration session before starting the program.

More than 200 women have participated since this program launched in 2005, and research published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology in February 2012 showed that graduates of the program had significant improvements in their quality of life, as well as their cancer-related and psychological symptoms. And a research study based on a similar program showed that women who participated were more likely to be alive 11 years after the course than patients who did not participate. Living with Ease may also help patients experiencing “chemo brain,” a condition which affects memory and/or thinking that sometimes occurs as a result of chemotherapy.