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I am a Melanoma survivor myself and a massage therapist. I'm hoping to get in to the course at Beamount this fall or February. But my question is for those of use that had treatment how long after treatment must you wait to get a massage? My back is killing me! yikes! Anyone with information please let me know. I had three lymph nodes removed to check for cancer but did not have a group of them taken. 

Thank you
Stephanie Keffer

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Hi Stephanie-

I have only been an LMT for a little over a year but since becoming licensed I have been volunteering providing massage therapy to cancer patients on a weekly basis- While I can not give you a straight answer heres what I typically go by when working on cancer patients-
- Have you talked to your doctors about how soon you can receive massage therapy?
- Are you healing as expected from the lymph nodes being removed?
- How are you feeling overall?

As long as the doctors have OKd receiving massage, I have always typically relied on feedback from the cancer patient to create a massage that works for them- it often means avoiding areas of recent treatment (surgical or radiation), using bolsters & pillows to help them comfortably lie on the table, and possibly shortening the duration of the massage-

Hope that helps a little :)
Hi Stephanie,
Having any lymph nodes removed puts you at risk for lymphedema. In that entire body quadrant, you are limited to very light massage. Deeper massage may cause lymphedema to start by generating more lymph than can be processed. This may or may not affect the massage you can receive on your back.

When the lymph nodes were removed you should have received instructions on limiting your activities to reduce the risk of lymphedema.

You can receive massage during cancer treatment, but it needs to be coordinated with the treatments, and with how you are feeling.

Hope this helps,
Gary Lloyd

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