The value of massage therapy in cancer care
Massage therapy is increasingly available as a supportive therapy to patients in medical centers providing cancer treatment. This article provides an overview of the evidence base relevant to the use of massage with the intended goal of alleviating symptoms and side effects experienced by cancer patients. Collectively, the available data support the view that massage, modified appropriately, offers potential beneficial effects for cancer patients in terms of reducing anxiety and pain and other symptoms. Replication of preliminary studies with larger, more homogeneous patient samples and rigorous study designs will help to clarify which massage modalities have the most potential benefit for which patients before, during, and after specific types of cancer treatment.