Massage therapists trained in working with cancer survivors, take note that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is the 25th year that an event has been dedicated to breast-cancer awareness.

Massage therapy is increasingly shown via research to benefit cancer patients, particularly in the areas of pain relief and relaxation.

On Aug. 21 MASSAGE Magazine reported on a survey in which breast-cancer patients said that massage therapy helped them relax; in fact, all of the program participants felt that massage therapy was effective in helping them relax, and the majority felt that it was very or somewhat effective in reducing muscle tension. Another recent article, “CAM Therapies Assist Breast Cancer Patients,” noted that Complementary health care (CAM), including massage therapy, is increasingly incorporated into the hospital setting.

According to the official National Breast Cancer Awareness Month site (, “The first NBCAM program took place in October 1985 as a week-long event to fill the information void in public communication about breast cancer … Today the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) organization is comprised of several national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working in partnership to build breast cancer awareness, share information and provide access to screening services.”

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Aromatherapy Massage Decreases Anxiety Among Women with Breast Cancer