Pain related to cancer and its treatment is a common problem among patients with cancer. Conventional treatment does not always relieve cancer pain satisfactorily. A recent publication analyzed and published research on the effect of massage therapy and cancer pain. Twelve available studies that included 559 total participants were reviewed. The authors found significant reductions in cancer pain with massage, especially for surgery related pain.

Comparing massage therapy with no massage treatment or conventional care, massage therapy was effective in relieving pain in cancer patients. The analysis suggests that massage therapy has significant positive effects for cancer pain relief, particularly for the short term. Further well-designed, large studies with longer follow-up periods are needed to be able to draw firmer conclusions regarding the effectiveness.

Lee S, Kim Jy et al. Meta-Analysis of Massage Therapy on Cancer Pain. Integrative Cancer Therapies 14 (2015): 297-304.