By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cancer can be devastating but many of the lifesaving treatments can seem as difficult to tolerate as the cancer. So anything that can help provide a benefit is welcome.

Now there is information that music therapy may help coping skills of children and young adults and provide some help.

The report in the journal Cancer was focused on patients between ages 11 and 24 who had cancer and received a stem cell transplant. They took baseline measures of a number of social and emotional skills. Twice a week for six weeks, children either received intensive music therapy or another form of distraction like an audio book. Children who received intensive music therapy showed greater benefit in positive coping skills as well as family and social interactions months after treatment.

The thought is that music therapy costs next to nothing and, in the long run, could be a major tool.

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