Just two decades ago, prevailing wisdom held that touching oncology patients was a no-no, for fear of hurting them.

Today, people get massages as they sit in recliners receiving chemotherapy treatment.

Cancer patients at Holy Name Medical Center are treated to free massages on Wednesdays by students from the Institute of Therapeutic Massage, which boasts of having the only accredited oncology massage program nationwide.

“The students are fantastic—the patients love getting the massages,” said Janice Terlizzi … administrative director of oncology services. “Many patients have a difficult diagnosis and it is very intense getting chemotherapy. This helps them relax.”

NorthJersey.com, Hackensack, New Jersey, Dec. 26, 2010