The Relationship Between Massage and Cancer

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( — September 18, 2018) — A massage brings about a relaxed feeling by stroking and rubbing soft body tissues as well as manipulating body muscles. For cancer patients, it has a whole lot of benefits since it helps in coping, enhances life’s quality and minimizes the cancer symptoms. Massage is regarded as a complementary therapy which not only minimizes the cancer symptoms but also aims at treating the entire body.

Massage does not heal cancer but plays a great role in reducing the side effects brought about by the also equally important conventional treatments. Read on and get to learn the relationship between massage and cancer.

The Misconception about Massage and Cancer

There is a belief that cancer is a contradiction for massage. Probably you also have the same misconception. What is true is that there is no risk at all or any strong relation between a massage and the spread of cancers. People have raised their concerns on the issue that massage therapy can lead to the spread of cancer as it has been taught in most massage therapy schools.

Scientific research has proven that massage of soft tissues and muscles does not lead to the spread of cancer cells. Cancer spreads and develops solely due to gene mutations as well as other natural processes within the body.

Can Patients on Chemotherapy Treatment Get a Massage?

If you are on cancer treatment, you ought to seek the doctor’s approval before settling on a massage therapy. Generally, a massage is kind of harmless but in some circumstances it is not good for everyone. While on chemo, a massage is likely to make you prone to infections since it compromises your immune system.  

Reasons Why Cancer Patients Opt to Have Massage

For most of us, a massage is what makes us fresh and all energized for another day or week at work. For people with cancer, there are a whole lot more reasons why they use massages. Here are some of those reasons:

  • To enhance the feeling of relaxation.

  • Helps them to rebuild hope despite the disease.

  • Enhances positivity especially about their bodies.

  • They get a chance to share and express their feelings

  • Generally, a massage enables them feel whole once more.

The Right Place for Cancer Patients to Get Massage

Cancer patients ought to get massage therapy from therapists who are experts in oncology massage. Most of these operate as private practitioners. You can also inquire from the hospital or hospice where you are getting your treatment on whether they offer massage to cancer patients.

To get the best results, ensure that your massage provider has an electronic pulse massager to relieve muscular pain. A  neck and shoulder massager on the other hand will relieve pain from your shoulders and enhance mobility and flexibility.

Benefits Associated with Massage to Cancer Patients

Owing to the positive attitude that most cancer patients have towards massage therapy, there are benefits associated with it. It helps them even as they undergo cancer treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy. Here are some of the benefits:

  • A significant reduction of pain.

  • Helps in minimizing fatigue.

  • Reduces stress hormone, depression and anxiety.

  • Keeps off nausea.

  • Enhances alertness and mental clarity.

  • Keeps the scar tissue healthy.

  • Enables one to get sound and relaxing sleep.

  • Helps one to live a high quality life by making them feel whole again.

Get a Massage from the Comfort of your Home

You probably are not in the mood to go all the way to the hospital or to the massage therapist. In this case, a massage chair can come in handy. It has been designed to give massages such that it allows access to your head, shoulders and the back of a cancer patient.

They make use of motors and electronic vibrators for massages. Here are the benefits that you would not want to miss out on:

  • Improves blood circulation thus hastening the healing of injuries, and the elimination of body toxins.

  • Enhances lymphatic circulation.

  • Aligns the spine.

  • Reduces headaches and pain.

  • Relaxes the sore muscles as well as loosening them.

  • Boosts immunity by increasing lymphocytes in your body.

To add to that, it could be a saving plan since you would cut on the transportation cost to the massage therapist as well as the charges at the facility.

Tips to Put into Consideration

In case of a recent surgery:

  • The wounds should be clean and well dried before any touching.

  • The massage therapist should examine tissue integrity to avoid having the subcutaneous tissues that are unhealed from being pulled.

  • Scars ought to be examined just to be sure that no opening or stitches are left for entrance of bacteria which may lead to infections.

For cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy:

  • Do not have a regular full-body massage on the day or the day after the infusion.

  • The therapist should avoid working around the infused area.

  • It is important for the therapist to know the location of the part to avoid tampering with it.

  • The therapist should be keen enough to inquire if you are having neuropathy according to the kind of chemo you are receiving.

For a patient receiving radiation

  • The therapist should avoid using powders or lubricants for the entire period when you are on treatment. This should be for a period for two weeks and over.


It is my hope that you have learnt about the relationship between massage and cancer. Despite the misconception that has been doing the rounds even among the health care providers, you are now sure that massage therapy does not accelerate the spread of cancer. If you are on medication, consult your doctor on whether a massage will work out for you.

This is because our bodies are different and react differently to certain treatments. Massage for patients on chemo treatment is not a good idea since it makes them vulnerable to infections by lowering their immunity. Seeking advice from your doctor will be perfect for you in whichever case.

If you are a cancer patient, go get your massage, relieve the pain, feel relaxed and feel whole again. Feel free to comment on the article and share your experience. Share it wide with friends and family so that it can reach more cancer patients. This way you will have put a smile on someone’s face.