Every year, over a quarter of a million women are diagnosed with breast cancer. More than 2,500 men will receive the same diagnosis, as everyone has at least a small amount of breast tissue. We’ve still been unable to find a cure for this disease, but we have come a long way in developing effective treatment methods and improving the quality of care for patients undergoing breast cancer treatment.
Care providers use something called SEER (surveillance, epidemiology, and end results) stages to track outcomes for breast cancer patients. At the end of a five-year period, the SEER stage rating for remission is about 90%. These outcomes are far better than they’ve ever been, and we owe them to advances in modern science.
In addition to improved treatments, integrative oncology incorporates other methods of patient care that help those fighting breast cancer mitigate their symptoms and feel better. It’s hard to be optimistic and fight one of the most important battles you’ll ever fight if all of your needs aren’t seen to adequately. Massage in Tucson can play an important role in helping patients with breast cancer feel better.
Integrative Oncology And Massage Therapy
Integrative oncology is the process of cancer treatment that is designed to address both the disease and the needs of the patient that occur as a result of the disease. The side effects of treatment will usually place additional stress and pressures on the body, and integrative oncology recommends complementary therapies that will prevent or manage some of the negative impact patients may experience.
Integrative oncology experts have researched many complementary therapies and the effect they have on breast cancer patients. More than half of breast cancer patients ultimately decide to use these complementary therapies to manage pain, promote relaxation, and keep themselves comfortable while they’re undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, massage therapy can be selectively used as a complementary therapy for breast cancer patients. Massage has been approved for relaxation, improving mood, and pain management.
Although massage therapy cannot prevent or cure any disease, it can make life a little easier for people undergoing treatment. The benefits boasted by massage have an overall positive impact on both healthy individuals and individuals undergoing critical medical treatments.
Relaxation And Mood Boosting
Massage stimulates the mind and body at the same time. In response to a massage, the body releases a whole host of endorphins that contribute to your overall wellbeing. These endorphins help to regulate mood, sleep, and perception to pain. The body is triggered to begin many reparative processes, and the chemicals the brain releases are designed to help facilitate those processes.
Serotonin and dopamine hormones are responsible for promoting a positive mood. Their presence reduces the brain’s perception of pain and makes it easier for muscles to naturally relax. This enhanced relaxation, in combination with a better mood, often makes it easier to obtain restful sleep. Breast cancer fighters need an excellent quality of sleep in order for the body to recover from both the impact of the disease and the natural damage that occurs to the body during treatment.
Many cancer patients often simultaneously deal with depression. This is completely understandable. A cancer diagnosis and a course of treatment can be a highly traumatic time for a patient and a patient’s family. Some cancer patients undergo therapy or are prescribed antidepressant medications to help them through their challenging road to recovery. Massage therapy is also a complementary therapy for the treatment of depression because of the way it can help to naturally balance and regulate mood.
Pain Management And Mitigation Of Treatment Side Effects
Clinical research has shown that massage therapy is an effective tool for managing muscular pain in breast cancer patients. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy often have reduced white and red blood cells, which makes them susceptible to bruising. Light pressure massage on areas far away from the treatment side is the preferred method of massage delivery.
Light pressure massage can be used to stimulate sore muscles and improve the flow of oxygen rich blood throughout the body. This improved circulation works in conjunction with the endorphins the body releases to lessen the severity of pain throughout the body. Some breast cancer patients report using less pain medication when receiving regular massages.
Some breast cancer patients will develop a condition called lymphedema in their arms, where the lymphatic system stores unnecessary fluid that causes swelling in the area. There are massage techniques specifically designed to expedite the process of lymphatic drainage, which may significantly reduce the swelling at the site of lymphedema.
Finding A Massage Therapist
If you or a loved one is living with breast cancer in Tucson, a massage can provide some much needed relief. The massage therapists at Greentoes in Tucson are ready to help. They’re well versed in every manner of massage and can work with a breast cancer patient to determine their best course of relief.