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Updated: Apr 17

woman having a massage

What is it?

Oncology massage/Cancer massage falls under the category of Complementary Therapies for people who had cancer, going through a cancer diagnosis. Or whom is in remission and is of observation from their clinical team or GP?

What is The Aim?

The aim is to better manage pain, discomfort, and other treatment symptoms. To enhance the patients well-being. This massage is used by many hospitals, hospices and support groups. Oncology massage/Cancer massage can also help with a range of side effects of treatments, such as:

. Hot flushes

. Headaches

woman with a headache

. Aches and pain

. Feeling sick (nausea)

. Peripheral Neuropathy (nerve damage that can cause pain, numbness, or weakness

. May help with improve energy levels

. Depression

. Stress and anxiety

Accordingly, to Cancer Research UK (2023) ‘people with cancer use aromatherapy oils because it makes them feel good’. This may be certainly true in my experience in applying aromatherapy massage to clients with a cancer background. Under clinical guidance and approval from their GP or clinical practitioner.

Massage Therapy

Improves the flow of fluid (Lymph) in the lymphatic system. (Lymph nodes are part of the immune system and help to filter germs and diseases)

Some studies show that people with cancer, suggests that massage therapy reduced symptoms, such as anxiety, pain, depression, and fatigue.

Some people are concerned that massage could cause cancer cells to spread to other parts of their body. Research has not found any evidence of this. Trained oncology therapist would avoid any areas that is affected by cancer. Accordingly, to MACMILLAN Cancer Support (2017). I would agree that no research has found that oncology massage could cause cancer cells to spread.

In fact, from my clinical experience over the years. I have seen, read, and heard of the increase in demand for Complementary Therapies in hospitals, clinics and in cancer support settings. In which I have worked in all 3 providers of cancer care.

What Is Cancer?

The name cancer is given to a collection of related diseases. Cancerous cells which can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissues. This can include organs and cancer can begin in one part of the body before spreading to other areas.

4 most common types are:

. Breast cancer

. Lung cancer

. Prostate cancer

. Bowel cancer

An oncology massage is very gentle (no deep issue) type of massage using therapeutic oils such as Essential Aromatherapy oils. These oils are chemicals extracted from flowers, plants, and trees such as:

. Lavender

. Tea tree

. Ginger

. Chamomile

. Frankincense

. Eucalyptus

A carrier oil is always applied with aromatherapy oil/s such as almond oil, grapeseed oil and olive oil. The carrier oils can also be use on their own, especially if the client is allergic to aromatherapy oils.

lavender lotion bottles

My Cancer Journey

I was got involved in cancer and palliative support massage in 2016 as an Honorary Complementary Therapist, within the Whips Cross Hospital. Part of the Barts Health NHS Trust. Prior to this, I just completed my level 3 Diploma in Salon and Spa Therapies.

This role was as a volunteer for over 1 year. Which covered 2 sites in the hospital. The Margaret Centre, which was palliative care and the actual wards. I was under the supervision and clinical guidance of the lead Complementary Therapist. I gained experience, and knowledge regarding cancer and palliative care massage. And the types of cancer that can affect people. I enjoyed this position , that I felt happy to carry on over my 1 year voluntary role.

This was a great insight of how Complementary Therapies can be provided for those in need and the appreciation of these therapies from families, friends, and carers. It seems to me these therapies brought a sense of care and compassion in a formal clinical setting.

I also learnt about medications that are used in cancer diagnosis and how sometimes these medications effects individuals.

What are Complementary Therapies?

This can be a range of alternative therapies such as:

. Nutrition

. Massage

. Music and art therapy

. Aromatherapy

. Reflexology

foot massage

Since 2018 I have added Oncology/cancer massage to my service menu.

Since 2019 I have ran my own clinical practice within Pauls Cancer Support Centre in London. As a Complimentary Therapist, using my experience and clinical judgement to help and support clientele who had cancer or experiencing cancer. This was mostly within a 3-times period for each clientele. Which I saw on a 2-weekly basis. This position lasted six months. As I went to university to further study Complementary Therapies and Nutrition.

I return to Pauls Cancer in December 20200 to my clinical role to May 2022. I now have my own Holistic wellbeing business in Central London where people come from across the UK to have Complementary therapies in one of 3 clinics I work from, which includes Cancer patients.

I am also trained in Aromatherapy massage since 2014 and a Wellness Advocate for a company called doTERRA Essential Oils and Skincare which promotes pure graded essential oils and skin care to clients to help them improve and promote their wellness journey by using essential oils, supplements, skin care, and spa therapies products.

Reducing Your Risk of Cancer

You can reduce your risk of cancer by

. Avoiding tobacco

. Protecting your skin

. Healthy weight

. Limiting the amount of alcohol, you drink.

woman beside a pool

Useful Websites

The Royal Marsden Hospital:



Cancer Research UK (2018) about cancer/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-t(2018) therapies/aromatherapy Available at (Accessed September 2023)

I had a great time with Annette during my facial for sensitive skin! I'm currently undergoing chemotherapy so I was needing a little bit of pamper time to make me feel like me again. After I cleared it with my medical team, I found Annette online and contacted her. She confirmed that she's oncology trained and has experience in treating people with cancer so I booked in. We had a thorough consultation and I really

enjoyed my facial. She checked in on me throughout to make sure I was comfortable and she explained all of the lovely products she was using. I felt so relaxed after and my skin looked and felt amazing! I can highly recommend Annette. The clinic is also in a very nice location so you can wander around and grab a coffee and cake after for a truly luxurious pamper day ☺️ Overall a great experience!

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I've being seeing Annette for my all over body massages. I was feeling a little uptight since covid and needed some well deserved RnR. Not only is Anette professional, but also very attentive to your needs and making sure you are comfy. No need to worry as she is fully Covid protected. I feel like a new woman and have no problem with recommending All About Eve.

Thanks Marcia

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Membership since 2016

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