It is important for your best care to ask for an oncology-trained therapist. We encourage you to let your oncologist and oncology nurse know that you would like to receive massage, skin care and/or nail treatments.
Cancer survivors can have varying levels of risk for lymphedema. Your medical care team is your best resource to provide you with protective guidelines.
We understand that somtimes a person may prefer not to disclose that they are a cancer survivor. However, in the spa setting, this information is relevent and very important for your therapist to know.
Unless your treatment team has advised you otherwise, you can decide when to receive your spa services.
Your physical comfort is very important. Let your therapist know which positions are most comfortable for you.
Your therapist will keep you covered throughout your spa service with only the area they are working on uncovered. Although most spa services are usually provided with little or no clothing being worn your therapist will be able to work around any garments you may prefer to leave on.
One of the reasons spa guests may choose a facial instead of a massage is because they are concerned that laying face down during a massage will not be comfortable. Another reason is because of the false perception that a facial is gentler or “safer” than a massage. With the use of steam (exacerbates dehydration), heat mitts (elevated lymphedema risk for breast cancer survivors), and some products (too many to list here), a facial can be more “demanding” on the body than a massage would be.
Yes, you do want to be selective regarding what products are used during your spa treatments. Product choices are most often determined by allergies, topical sensitivities and personal preferences.
Lymphedema is a progressive condition without a cure and caution should be exercised to reduce the risk of developing or exacerbating lymphedema. Raising ones body temperature for an extended period of time for example in a jacuzzi can pose a risk. For more information about lymphedema and lymphedema prevention download The American Cancer Society’s “Lymphedema: What Every Woman With Breast Cancer Should Know” and please speak with your clinical team about their recommended guidelines.