Massage Therapy and Cancer

 Touch is a biopsychosocial intervention, it is a tool to provide reassurance, relief, and reframing.

Touch is a biopsychosocial intervention, it is a tool to provide reassurance, relief, and reframing.

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.

Massage Can be a Source of Safety, Comfort and Relief

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). 

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. 2017, Kinkead et al. 2017).

Movement for Movement

There is emerging research indicating being physically active during and after cancer treatment has many health benefits (Bouillet et al. 2015, Fong et al. 2012, Hilfiker et al. 2017Schmitz et al. 2010)

More to Explore

Canadian Cancer Society: Massage Therapy

Albini, A., Decensi, A., Cavalli, F., & Costa, A. (2016). Cancer Prevention and Interception: A New Era for Chemopreventive Approaches. Clinical Cancer Research.

Block, K. I., Block, P. B., & Gyllenhaal, C. (2015). Integrative Therapies in Cancer: Modulating a Broad Spectrum of Targets for Cancer Management. Integrative Cancer Therapies.

Block, K. I., Gyllenhaal, C., Lowe, L., Amedei, A., Amin, A. R., Amin, A., . . . Zollo, M. (2015). Designing a broad-spectrum integrative approach for cancer prevention and treatment. Seminars in Cancer Biology.

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.

Deng, G., & Cassileth, B. (2013). Complementary or alternative medicine in cancer care—myths and realities. Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology.

Fong, D. Y., Ho, J. W., Hui, B. P., Lee, A. M., Macfarlane, D. J., Leung, S. S., . . . 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.

Godette, K., Mondry, T.E., Johnstone, P.A., (2006) Can manual treatment of lymphedema promote metastasis? J Soc Integr Oncol.

Hilfiker, R., Meichtry, A., Eicher, M., Nilsson, B.L., Knols, R.H., Verra, M.L., Taeymans, J. (2017). 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.

Kim, T.H., Rowat, A.C., Sloan, E.K. (2016). Neural regulation of cancer: from mechanobiology to inflammation. Clin Transl Immunology.

Kinkead, B., Schettler, P.J., Larson, E.R., ... Rapaport, M.H. (2017). Massage therapy decreases cancer-related fatigue: Results from a randomized early phase trial. Cancer.

Langevin, H. M., Keely, P., Mao, J., Hodge, L. M., Schleip, R., Deng, G., . . . Findley, T. (2016). Connecting (T)issues: How Research in Fascia Biology Can Impact Integrative Oncology. Cancer Research.

Listing, M., Krohn, M., Liezmann, C., Kim, I., Reisshauer, A., Peters, E., Klapp, B.F., Rauchfuss, M. (2010). The efficacy of classical massage on stress perception and cortisol following primary treatment of breast cancer. Arch Womens Ment Health.

Mao, J.J., Wagner, K.E., Seluzicki, C.M., Hugo, A., Galindez, L.K., Sheaffer, H., Fox, K.R. (2017). Integrating Oncology Massage Into Chemoinfusion Suites: A Program Evaluation. J Oncol Pract.

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., Aguilar Ferrándiz, M.E., ... Meeus, M. (2016). Pain following cancer treatment: Guidelines for the clinical classification of predominant neuropathic, nociceptive and central sensitization pain. Acta Oncol.

Padera, T. P., Meijer, E. F., & Munn, L. L. (2016). The Lymphatic System in Disease Processes and Cancer Progression. Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering.

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.

Schmitz, K. H., Courneya, K. S., Matthews, C., Demark-Wahnefried, W., Galvão, D. A., Pinto, B. M., . . . Schwartz, A. L. (2010). American College of Sports Medicine Roundtable on Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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.