Can you have a Massage when you are diagnosed with Cancer?

This is an area of particular interest to me having been through cancer including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and having to deal with side effects as a result of the treatment.

It is possible to have a massage during treatment for cancer as long as you check  with your GP/Consultant or Specialist Nurse. They will advise if it is appropriate for you to have a massage, and if there are any areas to avoid.

The main reason that someone with cancer would consider having a massage is to make them feel good and lift  their spirits. In fact a massage can have many other benefits as follows:

  • reduce stress and anxiety
  • reduce headaches
  • reduce pain
  • reduce fatigue
  • reduce nausea
  • improve sleep
  • enhance well being

During a massage it is important to feel comfortable at all times, and so it is really important to give feed back on pressure and how you are feeling  during the treatment. Massage is avoided in any area close to the site of the cancer and treatment e.g. areas where you are having radiotherapy, and only used in other areas if you feel that this is what you need. For example such as neck and shoulders if you feel particularly tight and anxious.


Further information can be found on the following sites

MacmillanWe are Macmillan

Cancer Research UKCancer Research UK