Cancer and Massage

All CEUs delivered immediately
via electronic download. All merchandise shipped in 1-5 business days, depending on your location.
This continuing education course provides the most recent research about cancer and massage. Benefits of massage for cancer patients are detailed. There is an emphasis placed on cautions and contraindications during cancer treatment. You can read more about each of the chapters below.

Cancer and Massage Course Outline (2 CEUs):
  • Chapter One: What is Cancer?

Cancer is an all-encompassing term that includes a variety of diseases of varying severity. The American Cancer Society defines cancer as “the general name for a group of more than 100 diseases in which cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control. Although there are many kinds of cancer, they all start because abnormal cells grow out of control.”i Cancer cells differ from regular cells, which grow, divide, and die in a healthy way. Cancer cells divide outside the rate of normal cells, and do not die when they are supposed to.i

  • Chapter Two: Who Gets Cancer?

American Cancer Society records from January 2008 showed that almost 12 million people had cancer in the United States.ii Half of all men in American will develop cancer during their lifetime, and 1/3 of all women in America will develop some form of cancer.iii Almost 300,000 people in the United Kingdom care diagnosed with cancer every year.iv Almost 1.6 million people in the United States get a new cancer diagnosis annually.v

  • Chapter Three: Deaths from Cancer

In 2010, about 1,500 people died every day from In 2008, 7.6 million people around the world died from cancer.vii According to their records, there was a 22 percent decrease in cancer deaths in men between 1990 and 2007, and a 14 percent decrease in cancer deaths among women.

  • Chapter Four: Cancer Treatments

The treatment of cancer depends on the stage at which it is diagnosed, the overall health of the patient, and the type of cancer the patient has. About half of cancers diagnosed are curable.viii There are four traditional and standard treatment methods for cancer: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy/biologic therapy.ix

  • Chapter Five: Benefits of Massage for Cancer Patients

Up to 53 percent of adult cancer patients have used massage therapy in addition to their traditional treatments.x Unlike traditional medicine that focuses solely on ridding the body of the dangerous cells, massage therapy can be part of a holistic treatment that addresses the patient’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.xi Massage therapy can “reduce symptoms, improve coping, and enhance quality of life.”xii

  • Chapter Six: Cautions and Contraindications

In the not-so-distant past, massage therapists were told to never massage any cancer patient for any reason because the therapy would spread the cancer cells and metastasize the disease. This is false, but there are some instances where massage is not recommended or where special cautions must be taken.xiii In general, massage therapy is safe for cancer patients and there is NO evidence that massage spreads cancer cells.xiv



i American Cancer Society, “What is Cancer?”,


ii KidsHealth, “What is Cancer?”,


iii American Cancer Society, “Cancer Prevalence,”


iv ACS, “What is Cancer?”


v Macmillan Cancer Support, “Who Gets Cancer?”


vi American Cancer Society, “Who Gets Cancer?”


vii World Health Organization, “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,”


viii Net of Care, “Cancer,” I6kUnmI-_4BaOIYLV_nQe4quXoWjaB02A2jem2qjJT9hcGteIfpHmA78pKEbmdextoRH66zQVyw9xNLbtDNBSCn_GVz39c&sig=AHIEtbSJgI8Y-Ya70CbTOKj4k_mLdIlUIg&pli=1


ix Lisa Fayed,, “What is Cancer?” July 17, 2009,


x Renee Gecsedi, Integrated Care, “Massage Therapy for Patients with Cancer,”


xi Kieran McConnellogue, MassageTherapy, “Massage and the Cancer Patient,” December/January 2000,


xii S.M. Sagar, T. Dryden, R.K. Wong, “Massage Therapy for Cancer Patients: A Reciprocal Relationship Between Body and Mind,” April, 2007,


xiii McConnellogue


xiv Lisa Corbin, M.D., “Safety and Efficacy of Massage Therapy for Patients with Cancer,”


Continuing education units (CEUs) are provided via electronic download in PDF format. Review the course work at your own pace and then take the included test online. You can print your certificate immediately after passing each test! All coursework is NCBTMB approved (NCBTMB # 451897-12). NOTE: Each state has different requirements. Please be sure to check our state requirements page and contact your state to verify your requirements.