New Research Analysis Indicates Massage Therapy Shows Promise for Pain & Anxiety in Cancer Patients

Based on the evidence, click massage therapy shows promise for reducing pain intensity/severity, prescription fatigue, order and anxiety in cancer populations compared to the active comparators evaluated in a new systematic review.  This is the conclusion of a collaborative meta-analysis of research on massage therapy for pain conducted by Samueli Institute and commissioned by the Massage Therapy Foundation, with support from the American Massage Therapy Association.  This review and analysis is published in the August issue of the journal Pain Medicine.

The study concludes that patients should consider massage therapy as a therapeutic option to help manage their cancer pain.

Pain is the most common and debilitating symptom among cancer patients. While the exact prevalence of pain varies depending on the type and stage of cancer, research shows that pain generally affects over 50% of those undergoing cancer therapy and up to 90% with advanced cancer experience pain [1]. According to a 2007 meta-analysis, which pooled data from 52 studies, the prevalence of pain was found to be approximately 59% among patients undergoing active cancer treatment and over 50% across all cancer types, with the highest pooled prevalence of 70% among head/neck cancer patients [2]. These figures convey that cancer pain is perhaps not adequately addressed by the current healthcare system and underscore the significant challenges faced by treating oncologists and other medical professionals in the field of cancer pain management.

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