Massage after bladder cancer

I had a very small tumour removed from my bladder in June 2011. It was treated with chemotherapy immediately afterwards, and regular checkups have been clear. When I went for a massage at my local spa last year I was refused the treatment as I ticked a box to say that I had had cancer within the past five years. Despite being given no logical reason I 

8 Replies

  • Unfortunately we are told when we train that cancer is a total contra indication (meaning not allowed) without a letter from the consultant giving written permission.  It is a silly rule really and especially given your small operation.  I personally had superficial tumours removed from my bladder without any chemotherapy and I am a massage therapist and have never stopped having massage.  I still have regular massage from my friends and students who work with me and there is no reason you can't - I also have a rare chronic blood cancer.  Some establishments will be stricter than others. If you can't find someone that will massage you then I would suggest getting a letter from your consultant. 

  • I don't have cancer! My very small tumour was removed four years ago so have no consultant. I have done extensive research and can find no valid reason to suppose that massage causes no more likelihood of spreading cancer (if indeed I did have it) than brisk exercise, a hot shower an energetic run or sex would do. ManMillan's advice service confirmed this, surely they should noknokno if anyone does? Even if I did have a consultant a letter from him would cost the equivalent to the voucher I had for the massage. All very confusing and annoying

  • I understand but they won't think like that it's just like a pigeon hole with insurance, I would have not told them so basically just don't put that on the medical history. I can't speak on behalf of the spa but they are just being over cautious and to be honest I never go to those places for massage, they are always so disappointing! Maybe take something to say all gone and so no cancer maybe from a follow up - plus to be honest I am only worried about post op if it is 6 months, so that is silly! Ask to speak to the manager, or spend the voucher on another treatment and find a good therapist :)

  • I have done all that! I answered the question in all innocence, to the effect that I had had cancer four years previously. There was no question as to either the severity, whether I still had the disease etc etc. I tried to reason with them, saying that I had in fact had a massage there a few years before (only a short while after my op) I hadn't been asked the question then, similarly at another establishment where I had a massage with no problems. The half-price massage was a joining offer for the gym I had just enrolled at, so I couldn't go elsewhere. I would have had to pay for a letter from my GP which would have cancelled out the offer. He said this was policy at the surgery, which he was unable to do anything about, but EVEN HE THOUGHT THE RULING RIDICULOUS, and said he would be happy to speak to the health club personally by phone and vouch for my suitability for a massage. Of course the health club declined this! The only other treatments would have been a manicure or pedicure, even facials were out! I was even chastised for not revealing that I had a medical condition, which of course I did not - I had been completely cured four years previously, and regular check-ups had pronounced me clear of cancer

  • Crazy! I don't know what else to say.. I am shocked! Good job I don't have to go to such a place for a massage as I would be a no no then.. chronic blood as well as my bladder tumours removed only less than 2 years ago.. I guess you won't be recommending them to anyone

  • You bet!

  • massage can help spread cancer, they are being cautious

  • Most research and advice (including from Macmillan) disputes this, but in my case I didn't have cancer anyway!! A very small, non-invasive tumour had been removed and precautionary chemotherapy given FOUR YEARS PREVIOUSLY. Follow-up examinations confirmed that I was completely free of cancer. From all the research I have read about, the increase in blood flow that is supposed to spread cancer though massage is the same as that caused by things like strenuous exercise, a hot shower or sex. So if that were the case surely people with cancer should avoid those things too? I agree that if someone actually has cancer, or has recently had surgery caution may need to be exercised, but that is a completely different issue.

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