Is massage therapy good for cancer patients?

Patients share their experience with massage therapy to supplement traditional cancer treatments

Oncology massage has gained popularity as a complement to typical treatments (chemotherapy, surgery, etc.) for many types of cancer. A recent “HopeCast” podcast episode discussed its use at Norton Cancer Institute, which has five massage therapists who work with  people receiving both outpatient and inpatient care.

Is massage good for cancer patients?

“Oncology massage may help some of the side effects of cancer treatment,” said massage therapist Erin Love, LMT. “Symptoms like pain, cancer-related fatigue, anxiety, and quality of life.”

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Massage therapy even may help relieve symptoms of depression and mood disorders in women with breast cancer. Massage also may play a role in the prevention of neuropathic pain related to chemotherapy drugs such as Taxol.

Cancer patients enjoy massage therapy

Often patients say massage therapy is their favorite part of a treatment regime.

“It’s a time for the patient to let go, even for an hour,” said massage therapist Christi Murphy, LMT. “This is a time for patients to relax and have less pain. I let the patient lead the session and choose if they would like to talk or not, or if they’d like music. I’m there to facilitate healing.”

Listen to the entire podcast here. Search for “oncology massage.”

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