Massaging Cancer Patientgreenspun.com : LUSENET : AMTNSW : One Thread
Would someone be able to advise me on any do's or dont's of massaging someone with terminal cancer. I know that its meant to be contraindicated, but my friend in question has cancer all through his lymphatic system and also in the lungs and has a large tumour on the adrenal gland, which is what Im guessing, is causing his back problem that he wants me to look at. I dont know if I can help him, but would like to try and since I've had no experience in this department would like to know of any information that is available. Thanks
-- Anne Merlino (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 18, 2002
Anne - I believe the only absolute contraindication is for massage performed without the knowledge or consent of the attending oncologist. Some (I emphasize SOME) forms of the disease do spread via lymphatic channels (vide breast surgery followed by axilliary radiaton or hysterectomy followed by inguinal etc)- massage is done for lymphatic drainage - ergo (it is said) 'massage can spread cancer' - this is as logical as saying all dogs have four legs, my cat has four legs therefore my cat is a dog - whenever I am asked to perform massage as part of palliative care I insist on the attending doctor's knowledge and permission - if it is a lymphatic metastasising type of problem one may be asked to 'wait and see' - but in a case where widespread secondaries have occurred and little can be offered "medically" then the patient deserves every possible attention that can contribute to their comfort, pain relief and dignity - with kind regards - Joel Morrell
-- Joel Morrell (email@example.com), September 19, 2002.
I agree with Joel! I would always discuss with the client the possibilities of massage spreading the cancer, would insist on the OK from the primary doctor - and at the end of the day, in my experience with palliative care, healing touch is too beneficial to client comfort to ignore.
-- Melanie Elsey (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 19, 2002.
What if the client is a 'one off'? For example, the sister of the manager that I rent my room from, came to stay for a couple of weeks. Her brother recommended that she have some massages from me, whilst up here. During the first consultation she told me she has a malignant tumour in her brain. She is very frightened of headaches because this is, she is told, is the precursor of the cancer spreading - hence her brother thought massage to calm her down would be good.
My question: What should I do if a client just 'pops in' for a massage, and then tells me they have cancer? Do I refuse them until they have contacted their doctor (they probably will not do that if they are travellers), or do I take the line that massage reduces stress, and therefore it would be beneficial anyway.
Hope this isn't too longwinded!
Thanks for any help Fiona
-- Fiona Henderson (email@example.com), September 20, 2002.
Anne - I have to say regardless of situation I stick to my prior point - massage without the attending doctor's consent is for me an ABSOLUTE contraindication - kind regards - Joel Morrell
-- Joel Morrell (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 24, 2002.