Is massage safe if I’ve been diagnosed or have had cancer?

Absolutely. Light, relaxing massage can safely be given to clients at any stage of their cancer journey. Massage can help with many of the temporary side effect of chemotherapy and radiation, lower anxiety and pain, improve energy, and decrease nausea.

Can massage spread cancer?

It is well documented that massage does not contribute to the spread of cancer. Some people worry that massage can spread cancer cells via the lymphatic system, the body’s immune system. Our lymphatic system is a network of nodes and vessels through which lymph or lymphatic fluid flows. Lymphatic circulation occurs naturally when skeletal muscles contract and compress lymph vessels to force the movement of lymph. Gentle massage does not increase this lymphatic circulation any more than exercising or gardening.

How do I choose the right massage therapist during my treatment and recovery?

Ask a potential massage therapist about their training and experience working with cancer patients.

For example:
• Have you been trained to work with someone who has a history of cancer?
• What type of precautions would you take for me?
• Would you be able to coordinate care with my doctors or other health professionals?

The team of massage therapists at BDI would be happy to answer any questions you have about oncology massage.

A letter from your oncologist about your diagnosis and treatment will assist your massage therapist to develop an appropriate massage plan for you.

Can massage help my neuropathy?

Massage can help with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. Your massage therapist can even teach you a self-massage protocol to help manage your peripheral neuropathy.