Massage therapy has existed for ages now. Still, as years and years go by, new specialty massage techniques continue to get introduced into the health and skincare terrain. Among the new additions is Oncology Massage, that kind of massage therapy that works wonders on cancer patients. 

In the rest of this posting, you’ll be seeing the name Amy Tyler a lot. Amy is a massage therapist who has a keen interest in oncology massage and scar tissue release. We thought she’d be just the perfect person to educate us on this specialty massage technique known as Oncology Massage. And guess what? She didn’t disappoint.

Let’s Discuss Oncology Massage for a Bit

You could describe oncology massage as a customized massage treatment given to a cancer patient. This is so because it is a very patient-specific therapy. This bodywork is a gentle, nurturing procedure that pays keen attention to the physical and emotional changes that occurred to a patient when their cancer treatment started. 

“It essentially adapts your massage technique to work safely with someone who has had a diagnosis for cancer and had treatment for cancer,” says Amy. 

Overtime, chemotherapy, surgery, immunotherapy, or any other cancer-related treatment, drains a patient’s energy and brings about huge mental and emotional stress. Consequently, the patients may find it hard to relax or relate their feelings and emotions. This is exactly where oncology massage brings a solution. 

For most of the pain, if not all, oncology massage can be used to aid relief. Plus, it can help the patient reconnect with their emotions.

Oncology Massage in Comparison With other Massages

  • Oncology Massage vs. Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) differs from oncology massage in that MLD is more specialized for treating lymphoedema. MLD helps to move lymphatic fluids building up in a region of the body toward lymph nodes that can filter the fluid back into the right parts of the body. Oncology, on the other hand, is more suited for easing fatigue, pain, and emotional stress in people who have had or are still undergoing cancer treatments. Though it can also be used to prevent the cancer patient from developing lymphoedema, oncology massage doesn’t do this by moving fluid.

  • Oncology Massage vs. Scar Tissue Massage

Scar tissue massage and oncology massage borrow principles of modalities from each other. However, they have various differences, one of them being that scar release is more scar focused while oncology tackles the body as a whole. 

Scars can often become so tight that they create a pull that tells on a surrounding body part or muscle. As such, scar tissue massage aims at “softening the tissue around the scar, plus also softening the scar tissue itself,” Amy explains.

Oncology Massage stands out from scar tissue work in that it looks more holistically at the body. Whereas, scar tissue release is often more focused on a spot which is usually the area where scarring has occurred.


If you’re wondering whether oncology bodywork is painful, the answer is no. “With oncology massage, our aim is to absolutely cause no pain”. Amy Tyler says. In fact, rather than causing pain, this massage is carefully done to reduce it.  If you’re interested in learning more about this massage technique, you’ll gain loads from this oncology massage podcast