Complementary Care for Breast Cancer Patients

Image Credit - MesserWoland - own work created in Inkscape, based on the graphics by Niki K, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Image Credit - MesserWoland - own work created in Inkscape, based on the graphics by Niki K, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The RMT Education Project is an initiative that is working to promote the benefits of massage therapy to an international audience, here I have to put together a list of research papers relevant to the practice of oncology massage.

Complementary Care for Breast Cancer Patients

It is estimated that 40% of cancer survivors use integrative approaches to manage symptoms and improve their well-being after conventional cancer treatments, this includes: massage, acupuncture, and yoga (Sohl et al. 2015). 

Massage Can be a Source of Safety, Comfort and Relief

Oncology massage is a specialty where massage techniques are changed to meet the needs of people with cancer and undergoing cancer treatments. In this field of research, there is a growing body of evidence that massage therapy helps people with cancer physically and emotionally, and it can improve their quality of life (Hilfiker et al. 2018Kinkead et al. 2018).

Movement for Movement

As for exercise and yoga practices, there is emerging research indicating being physically active during and after cancer treatment has many health benefits (Hilfiker et al. 2018)

Acupuncture for Symptom Management

Additionally, amulti-center randomized clinical trial published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has demonstrated that acupuncture may reduce joint-pain from prescription aromatase inhibitors (Bao et al. 2018, Hershman et al. 2018).

More to Explore

Bao, T., Li, S.Q., ... Mao, J.J. (2018). Acupuncture versus medication for pain management: a cross-sectional study of breast cancer survivors. Acupunct Med.

Bae, K., Yoo, H.S., Lamoury, G., Boyle, F., Rosenthal, D.S., Oh, B. (2015). Acupuncture for Aromatase Inhibitor-Induced Arthralgia: A Systematic Review. Integr Cancer Ther.

Bouillet, T., Bigard, X., Brami, C., Chouahnia, K., Copel, L., Dauchy, S., . . . Zelek, L. (2015). Role of physical activity and sport in oncology. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology.

Castro-Martín, E., Ortiz-Comino, L., ... Galiano-Castillo, N. (2017). Myofascial Induction Effects on Neck-Shoulder Pain in Breast Cancer Survivors: Randomized, Single-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Design. Arch Phys Med Rehabil.

De Groef, A., Van Kampen, M., … Devoogdt, N. (2018). Effect of myofascial techniques for treatment of persistent arm pain after breast cancer treatment: randomized controlled trial. Clin Rehabil.

De Groef, A., Van Kampen, M., Moortgat, P., … Devoogdt, N. (2018). An evaluation tool for Myofascial Adhesions in Patients after Breast Cancer (MAP-BC evaluation tool): Concurrent, face and content validity. PLoS One.

De Groef, A., Van Kampen, M., ... Devoogdt, N. (2017). An evaluation tool for myofascial adhesions in patients after breast cancer (MAP-BC evaluation tool): Development and interrater reliability. PLoS One. (OPEN ACCESS)

Fong, D. Y., Ho, J. W., . . . Cheng, K. (2012). Physical activity for cancer survivors: Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ.

Greenlee, H., DuPont-Reyes, M.J., ... Tripathy, D. (2017). Clinical practice guidelines on the evidence-based use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment. CA Cancer J Clin.

Hershman, D.L., Unger, J.M., Greenlee, H., ... Crew, K.D. (2018). Effect of Acupuncture vs Sham Acupuncture or Waitlist Control on Joint Pain Related to Aromatase Inhibitors Among Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA.

Hilfiker, R., Meichtry, A., ... Taeymans, J. (2018). Exercise and other non-pharmaceutical interventions for cancer-related fatigue in patients during or after cancer treatment: a systematic review incorporating an indirect-comparisons meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med.

Kinkead, B., Schettler, P.J., Larson, E.R., ... Rapaport, M.H. (2018). Massage therapy decreases cancer-related fatigue: Results from a randomized early phase trial. Cancer.

Langevin, H. M., Keely, P., . . . Findley, T. (2016). Connecting (T)issues: How Research in Fascia Biology Can Impact Integrative Oncology. Cancer Research. (OPEN ACCESS)

Lewis, P.A., & Cunningham, J.E. (2016). Dynamic Angular Petrissage as Treatment for Axillary Web Syndrome Occurring after Surgery for Breast Cancer: A Case Report. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. (OPEN ACCESS)

Listing, M., Krohn, M., ... Rauchfuss, M. (2010). The efficacy of classical massage on stress perception and cortisol following primary treatment of breast cancer. Arch Womens Ment Health.

Lyman, G.H., Greenlee, H., ... Cohen, L. (2018). Integrative Therapies During and After Breast Cancer Treatment: ASCO Endorsement of the SIO Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Oncol.

Mao, J.J., Wagner, K.E., ... Fox, K.R. (2017). Integrating Oncology Massage Into Chemoinfusion Suites: A Program Evaluation. J Oncol Pract.

Massingill, J., Jorgensen, C., Dolata, J., Sehgal, A.R. (2018). Myofascial Massage for Chronic Pain and Decreased Upper Extremity Mobility After Breast Cancer Surgery. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork.

Mustian, K.M., Alfano, C.M., ... Miller, S.M. (2017). Comparison of Pharmaceutical, Psychological, and Exercise Treatments for Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Meta-analysis. JAMA Oncol.

Nijs, J., Leysen, L., Adriaenssens, N., ... Meeus, M. (2016). Pain following cancer treatment: Guidelines for the clinical classification of predominant neuropathic, nociceptive and central sensitization pain. Acta Oncol.

Radossi, A.L., Taromina, K., Marjerrison, S., ... Ladas, E.J. (2017). A systematic review of integrative clinical trials for supportive care in pediatric oncology: a report from the International Society of Pediatric Oncology, T&CM collaborative. Support Care Cancer.

Sohl, S.J., Borowski, L.A., Kent, E.E., ... Arora, N.K. (2015). Cancer survivors' disclosure of complementary health approaches to physicians: the role of patient-centered communication. Cancer.

Stuiver, M.M., Ten Tusscher, M.R., McNeely, ML. (2017).  Which are the best conservative interventions for lymphoedema after breast cancer surgery? BMJ.

Thomas, R.J., Kenfield, S.A., Jimenez, A. (2016). Exercise-induced biochemical changes and their potential influence on cancer: a scientific review. Br J Sports Med.

Yang, S., Park, D.H., Ahn, S.H., ... Kim, W. (2017). Prevalence and risk factors of adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder after breast cancer treatment. Support Care Cancer. 

Zia, F.Z., Olaku, O., ... Mao, J.J. (2017). The National Cancer Institute's Conference on Acupuncture for Symptom Management in Oncology: State of the Science, Evidence, and Research Gaps. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr.