Saunas and massages

have an opoportunity to go for treatment at a spa, are there any restrictions? Is it okay to have massage? Taking exercise now but legs feel like lumps of lead afterwards. Finished radio a week ago and last chemo (3 FEC and 3 Taxotere) on 15 May.I don’t have a Breast nurse to ask these sort of questions, so any guidance would be good, Thanks Pat

I asked my oncologist this question the other week as I’m going to Morocco and wanting the whole Hammam experience. She reckons there is no clinical reason why I shouldn’t have full body massage. I’ve had full body ayurvedic massage prior to this diagnosis, not even stopping to think about it (I had a 12 year gap between diagnoses and had started to forget about the whole bc thing). I have been told by masseurs in this country that they won’t do it though, ‘because of the lymphatic system’ which is why I checked with the onc. I’ve had no lymph node involvement with either dx
I suspect you will get a range of responses, but thats what I was told.I hope thats some help
monica x

Hi Mammie

There are definitely restrictions if you have had lymph nodes removed. If yes, then no saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs etc.

I have had a full axillary clearance but I still have massages. There are differing schools of thought on this but I’ve had a long discussion with a nurse on the helpline about this. Some people offering massage want to cover themselves as may some spas so won’t do it.
I don’t let anyone massage my arm or near my armpit of course.
You may also want to consider if you’re having a back massage that you will probably need to lie on your front - will that be comfortable?

The other thing is if you’ve just finished rads don’t you think it might be a bit hot and sore to go in saunas etc.

If it were me I would see what was on offer. There may be options like swimming, Indian head massage, reflexology or something like that.

take care
Elinda x

I went to a spa as atreat for end of treatment and was really disappointed. I was due to have a back massage and Indian head massage but they wouldn’t do them until 6 months after treatment had finished. I doubt that they would even do reflxology as that is supposed to have effects on other systems of the body. However I went back 7 months after treat ment finished and had the whole lot - bliss! The first time around I did have facial and manicure/pedicure and did still feel pampered and relaxed when I got home.
Don’t go with hopes of massage and just enjoy whatever you can take advantage of.
Nicky xx

Hi Pat

BCC have published a booklet about complementary therapies which you may find helpful to read, you can read or order a copy via this link:*/changeTemplate/PublicationDisplay/publicationId/13/

Best wishes

Hi to all of you - thank you very much for your thoughts and the booklet. I will certainly ask what they have to offer and go from there. I certainly don’t want to have my lymph area touched as it is still ‘delicate’ and I still have the implant catheter in place, another no go area. I have to say that my shoulders and neck ache a lot just now and it would be lovely to have some relief there.
Many thanks Pat