Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
Cancer Control. 2005 Jul;12(3):158-64.

Safety and efficacy of massage therapy for patients with cancer.

Author information

  • Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, The Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora 80045, USA. lisa.corbin@uchsc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As the popularity of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) grows, patients are incorporating more CAM therapies into their conventional cancer care. Massage therapy, a CAM therapy known primarily for its use in relaxation, may also benefit patients with cancer in other ways. Massage can also be associated with risks in the oncology population. Risks can be minimized and benefits maximized when the clinician feels comfortable discussing CAM with his or her patients. This article reviews and summarizes the literature on massage and cancer to help provide the clinician with information to help facilitate discussions with patients.

METHODS:

MEDLINE and CINAHL databases were searched to identify relevant articles. These were reviewed for content and other pertinent references.

RESULTS:

Significant information was extracted from these resources to provide this overview of the use of massage for patients with cancer.

CONCLUSIONS:

Conventional care for patients with cancer can safely incorporate massage therapy, although cancer patients may be at higher risk of rare adverse events. The strongest evidence for benefits of massage is for stress and anxiety reduction, although research for pain control and management of other symptoms common to patients with cancer, including pain, is promising. The oncologist should feel comfortable discussing massage therapy with patients and be able to refer patients to a qualified massage therapist as appropriate.

PMID:
16062163
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk