Oncology ___________ Massage

Oncology massage is a specialised massage that is appropriate for people at any stage of their cancer journey.

Scientific research supports its value as a complementary therapy to assist with the non-pharmacological management of symptoms associated with anti-cancer treatments. Oncology massage may ease symptoms such as anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, constipation and headaches. A much appreciated benefit is a deep sense of relaxation and reduction of stress.

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia is the peak national body representing health professionals whose work encompasses cancer control and care. In its May 2013 Position Statement, about the use of complementary and alternative medicine by cancer patients, COSA encourages patients to find massage practitioners, preferably with oncology experience, to deliver massage treatment.

In Australia, oncology massage training is delivered by the Oncology Massage Training organisation. This internationally accredited training offers specialised training to carers, community therapists and hospital based massage therapists. Oncology massage is accepted and used in many leading cancer hospitals throughout the world. It is a safe massage.

Whether you have been newly diagnosed, currently undergoing treatment or have long since finished, your oncology massage therapist will mindfully adjust time, pressure and positioning to your unique circumstances.

Oncology massage continues to be of benefit throughout palliative care and end of life care.


Paediatric Oncology Massage

Paediatric oncology massage is oncology massage specifically adapted for young children through to adolescents and young adults.

Currently, training in this specialised field is only available overseas. There are at least two massage therapists in Australia who have completed this internationally recognise qualification.

As part of an integrative care approach, paediatric oncology massage is a care intervention which may ease symptoms associated with the treatment for cancer. Research benefits include decrease in pain, stress and anxiety, and an increase in white blood cell counts. Children and their families welcome the nurturing touch that paediatric oncology can provide.

Paediatric oncology massage programs have been successfully established at numerous leading children’s hospitals in the USA.

Lymphoedema __---_ Care

Lymphoedema is a build up of lymph fluid in the soft tissues of the body.

For someone with a cancer diagnosis, this may occur as a consequence of surgery, or radiation therapy. When lymph nodes are removed or damaged by treatment, then the lymph system may no longer function normally. For example, women who receive treatment for breast cancer may be at risk for developing lymphoedema in an arm. Men who receive treatment for prostate cancer may be at risk for lymphoedema in the legs.

Often the first signs of lymphoedema may be a sense of fullness or heaviness in an arm or leg. It is usually best to seek attention sooner rather than later in order to successfully manage this side effect. Sometimes regular lymphatic drainage massage and is all that is necessary. Sometimes a compression garment may need to be worn. Other times an assessment may indicate the need for a more intensive and complex approach including bandaging, compression garments, skin care, low level therapeutic laser therapy, specific exercise and attention to diet. Learning how to do a simple self care lymphatic massage may be part of a care plan.

The Casley-Smith Lymphoedema Decongestive Therapy approach was developed in Australia as a result of world leading research into lymphoedema management.