Oncology Massage Research Proves Beneficial For The Patients In Treatment For Cancer

Oncology massage research promotes quality patient care that reveals massage is a non-pharmacological treatment for pain, anxiety and fatigue.  This page contains research that highlights cancer treatments and side effects that Oncology trained Massage Therapists must understand.   The research is showing that patients are living longer with more serious side effects.  In any given day we need to understand how to take care of someone that might be experiencing serious side effects; Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy, Fibrositis from Graft vs Host Disease, range of motion limitations from radiation and surgery.  Massage Therapists with training in oncology massage are essential to treating the “Whole Person,” integrating “high touch” with “high tech.”  Evidence-based oncology massage research blends western medical care with  “Service of the Heart.”

Organizations such as Oncology Nursing Society are doing research that shows the benefits of massage to help with anxiety.  Even when the results show “likely to be effective” and more studies are required, it gives credibility to oncology massage. Research is showing the benefits of massage during treatment, dispelling the myth that massage is “hocus-pocus” or something that just “feels good.”

Dr. Lisa Corbin’s Research On Massage For Cancer Patients

Background:  As the popularity of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) grows, patients are incorporating more CAM therapies into their conventional cancer care. Massage therapy, a CAM therapy known primarily for its use in relaxation, may also benefit patients with cancer in other ways. Massage can also be associated with risks in the oncology population. Risks can be minimized and benefits maximized when the clinician feels comfortable discussing CAM with his or her patients. This article reviews and summarizes the literature on massage and cancer to help provide the clinician with information to help facilitate discussions with patients.

Methods: MEDLINE and CINAHL databases were searched to identify relevant articles. These were reviewed for content and other pertinent references.

Results: Significant information was extracted from these resources to provide this overview of the use of massage for patients with cancer.

Conclusions: Conventional care for patients with cancer can safely incorporate massage therapy, although cancer patients may be at higher risk of rare adverse events. The strongest evidence for benefits of massage is for stress and anxiety reduction, although research for pain control and management of other symptoms common to patients with cancer, including pain, is promising. The oncologist should feel comfortable discussing massage therapy with patients and be able to refer patients to a qualified massage therapist as appropriate.

CRISP (Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects) is a search able database of federally funded biomedical research projects conducted at universities, hospitals, and other research institutions.

Massage Therapy may ease pain and improve mood in advanced cancer patients

The Management of Cancer Pain Oncology Massage Therapists can make a difference for our clients when system-related barriers are reduced that will allow us to be part of the supportive care services for patients.

Dose Effects of Relaxation Practice on Immune Responses in Women Newly Diagnosed with Breast Cancer:  An Exploratory Study Conclusion of the study: Persistent relaxation practice may have positive effects on multiple immune responses in a dose-dependent manner.  To my thinking I believe that oncology massage therapists can use this information to incorporate relaxation techniques and mind body therapies to efficiently help our clients decrease stress and improve their immune functions.

The experience of massage during chemotherapy treatment in breast cancer patients-  Click here to visit link

The relationship between patients and therapist might be important in massage research.

Massage relieves nausea in women with breast cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy.  Click here to visit link

For breastcancer patients during chemotherapy treatment.  Ten patients received massage at five occasions-  Click here to visit link

Investigation of Standard Care Versus Sham Reiki Placebo

Phase III Randomized Trial of Calendula Officinalis Compared with Trolamine for the Prevention of Acute Dermatitis During Irradiation for Breast Cancer. Click here to visit link

A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Single Session of Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal and Immune Function in Normal Individuals  Click here to visit link

Role of Adjuvant and post treatment exercise programs in Breast Health American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Guidelines for BC Survivors  Click here to visit link

  1. Avoid activity
  2. Return to normal levels of activity as soon as possible after surgery
  3. Consult with physician before engaging in exercise program.
  4. Formal exercise testing is not required before beginning a moderate-intensity exercise program unless cardiovascular or other comorbidities exist.
  5. Try to meet aerobic activity recommendations for general population

Upper body exercise

  1. Evaluation for upper extremity morbidity is recommended before starting an exercise program
  2. Start with supervised strength-training sessions
  3. Start with low or no resistance.
  4. Although no upper limit of weight exists to which breast cancer survivors can progress, weight should be increased very slowly
  5. Lower resistance or stop specific exercises if symptoms of lymphedema occur
  6. Be aware of fracture risk if undergoing treatment with agents that can lower bone density

 Massage and low-back pain

Self-Management: Enabling and Empowering Patients Living with Cancer as a Chronic Illness

Massage therapy for cancer patients: a reciprocal relationship between body and mind

Massage Therapy as a supportive care intervention for children with cancer

Research show that exercise and massage may help with fatigue during cancer    treatment

Gentle arm and shoulder movements and deep breathing help patients with lymphedema

-Meaningful relief from massage in cancer treatment

M.D. Annderson data base of cancer and massage research

Massage Therapy versus Simple Touch to Improve Pain and Mood in Patients with Advanced Cancer. If a survey was passed out each time an Oncology Massage Therapist gave a massage to a patient receiving chemotherapy, the survey’s results would make massage a standard of care for all patients.

REST-Reducing-end-of-Life Symptoms With Touch

 Learning from the largest study on cancer Memorial Sloane-Kettering and cancer and massage research

Massage for cancer pain

Research presented at ASCO 2009 that shows ginger may help with nausea during   chemotherapy

 Value of massage therapy for patients in a breast clinic.

 Research on therapeutic massage for cancer patients: potential biologic mechanisms

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Women With Breast Cancer: A —Systematic Review 

Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Cancer Survivors 

New study: Lifting weights study may help breast cancer study Breast cancer patient will benefit from weight lifting when followed by expert trainers in breast cancer.  Otherwise, there could be more harm than benefit.

Harvard research on effects of meditation

Low-level laser therapy might help with chemotherapy induced neuropathy   Always check with your healthcare providers when trying to find relief for neuropathy.  Hopefully low level laser therapy might be helpful as more evidence shows the efficacy of this therapy.

Pilot Study to identify the prevelance of post mastectomy pain syndrome 

Predictors of quality of life for cancer survivors   “Nurses may be able to help survivors with preexisting disabling conditions reduce the negative influence of poorer health status and functional limitations on quality of life by providing interventions that reduce depression and build perceived ability to engage in health-promoting behaviors. ” Long after cancer treatment is over oncology massage therapists  will continue to have opportunities to check in with their clients to ensure healthy habits which ensure a better quality of survivorship.

Cedars-Sinai Massage Research

 Late Cardiovascular Toxicities following chemotherapy   “Recommendations are provided for the management of GCT survivors who received cisplatin-based chemotherapy and are therefore at risk for cardiovascular toxicity.” 

Early Rehabilitation Improves Quality of Life and Range of Motion for Breast Cancer Surgical Patients   “These preliminary results suggest an early supervised rehabilitation program accelerates recovery of the involved extremity for MRM patients, with and without reconstruction, and reduces postoperative complications. Prevention of
these sequelae are important for the quality of life of breast cancer survivors.”   Advance training  helps Oncology Massage Therapists work with breast cancer surivors; quality of life due to adhesions, poor posture caused by surgeries that increase pain patterns and shortened connective tissue.

 Chronic fatigue syndrome may be associated with increased NHL risk

Massage in Supportive Cancer Care  Hundreds of patients’ stories expressing their gratitude for an oncology massage program in an outpatient cancer program, has given me a purpose, inspired me and touched my heart.  This is not research data but a patient mandate for massage in cancer centers.  Resoundingly patients have reported their apprecation for skilled touch, when they needed compassionate touch the most.

Pediatric Pain Letter  Research article highlights the difficulty of massage research and offers explanation of how massage and The Gate Theory and Deep Sleep Theory may help with pain in palliative care setting.  Have witnessed countless times how massage has benefitted patients who suffer from pain during cancer treatment and seen first hand how massage help control pain, even temporarily.