Things You Should Know About Giving Massage to a Cancer Patient

December 1, 2022 Off By Harding Amethyst

Cancer patient getting a massage


Relaxing, loving, and comforting. That’s how many people experience a massage such as a 출장 홈타이 (business trip home Thai). But is it the same for cancer patients? On this page, you can read everything about massage in cancer.

Talk to your doctor beforehand

Have you (had) cancer and are you considering a massage? Then first consult with your doctor about whether massage is suitable for your situation. Also, ask your massage therapist if he or she has sufficient knowledge about cancer and can give the massage in a safe and responsible way.

There is not always (sufficient) scientific evidence that massage has a sufficient effect. But as long as the treatment is safe, you can try to see if it helps you.

What is massage?

In massage, the masseur or massage therapist touches your body by stroking it, putting pressure on it, or kneading it.

In people with cancer, it is often a soft and light pressure, aimed at more relaxation.

When can massage help if you have cancer?

Massage for cancer may help with complaints such as:

  • pain
  • fear
  • depression
  • Mood
  • fatigue
  • dyspnea
  • Sleeping

You can get a massage when you are under treatment, after the treatment, or when you can no longer get better.

Massage does not cure cancer. It can be a good addition to the care in the hospital.

How does massage affect the body and mind?

Massage in cancer affects your nervous system. The soft touch and warmth of it can feel nice. As a result, your body makes more of the happiness hormone serotonin. That gives a feeling of relaxation and security. More endorphins are also released. These are the body’s own painkillers. Finally, massage reduces the release of hormones and substances involved in stress and panic.

Is massage safe for cancer?

Massage is safe for cancer. In some situations, massage is not recommended or it is necessary to adjust the massage. A specialized massage therapist can estimate this well. You can also always discuss it with your doctor in advance.

Massage is not safe with:

  • fever
  • inflammation
  • infection
  • thrombosis / acute deep vein thrombosis
  • pulmonary embolism
  • very low blood values, especially low platelet count

The massage therapist should not massage your arm or hand if you have an IV or PICC line in your hand or arm. Massage from another part of the body is allowed.

If you suffer from polyneuropathy or (risk of) lymphedema, you should be careful with a massage. It can make your symptoms worse. Do you still want a massage? Then find a massage therapist from the Network Massage at Cancer or from OncoReflex. They know how to massage polyneuropathy, lymphedema, and other complaints of cancer.

With metastatic cancer, some adjustments are needed in the massage. A specialized massage therapist knows which adjustments are involved so that the massage is done safely and responsibly.

Tell the massage therapist in advance which medications you are taking. For example, if you use blood thinners, it is good to report that.


ALSO READ: Leukemia Treatment: How It Works, What You Can Expect?


Which forms of massage are suitable for cancer?

There are different forms of massage. Cancer usually involves these 3 types:

Gentle (body) massage

A gentle massage of the body, for example, the back, the hands/arms, or feet/legs. The intention is that you relax deeply. The massage therapist takes into account your treatment and your complaints. You can get the massage on a massage bench, a chair, or a bed. This can be in the hospital, or at your home.

Foot reflexology

Foot reflexology involves the massage of the feet and lower legs. For this, it is not necessary to undress. You can get a massage while sitting on a chair or lying on the bed.

Manual lymphatic drainage

A manual lymphatic drainage is a form of massage for lymphedema. During or after cancer, only specialized edema and skin therapists should give this massage. Read more about manual Lyme drainage.

Does the health insurer reimburse massage?

Basic insurance does not reimburse massage. If you have additional insurance, you may be able to get the treatment (partly) reimbursed. Check with your health insurer whether you are eligible for reimbursement.