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Cancer in the Spa

By: Morag Currin
Posted: May 26, 2010, from the June 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 5 of 8

Biological therapies. Biological therapies stimulate a person’s immune system in the hope of attacking and killing cancer cells in the body. In this group of cancer therapies, the targeted therapy agents assist in preventing tumors from growing, metastasizing and interfering with the immune system. The most common side effect of targeted therapies is the development of papulopustular reactions, which appear to be dose dependent.15 Skin needs to stay moisturized and hydrated at all times, as well as protected from injury.


Every esthetician who takes their profession seriously should attend advanced education courses and read industry books and magazines to become the best they can be. So many different modalities for advanced education are available; however, if you have been touched by cancer, whether directly or indirectly, you may feel compelled to give back to other survivors who are going through debilitating cancer therapies. Understanding cancer therapies, their side effects, and the combination of therapies with medications is important in order to personalize a spa treatment for every client who comes into your spa. By comprehending how taxing cancer therapies can be on the entire person—physically, emotionally and mentally—treatments can be personalized for the client, at the moment, and in the moment.


1. BR Cassileth and AJ Vickers, Massage therapy for symptom control: outcome study at a major cancer center (Sloan Memorial Kettering), J Pain and Symptom Management, (3) 244–9 (Sep 28, 2004)

2. JS Kutner, MC Smith, L Corbin, L Hemphill, K Benton, BK Mellis, B Beaty, S Felton, TE Yamashita, LL Bryant and DL Fairclough, Massage therapy versus simple touch to improve pain and mood in patients with advanced cancer: a randomized trial, Annals of Internal Medicine 149(6) 369–79 (Sep 16, 2008)

3. S Wilkinson, K Barnes and L Storey, Massage for symptom relief in patients with cancer: systematic review, J of Advanced Nursing, 63(5) 430–9 (Sep 2008)

Heartfelt Stories and Easy-to-Understand Science to Elevate Your Spa Services for Your Clients with Cancer

Oncology Esthetics: A Practitioner's Guide by Morag Currin is a sensitively written book guiding you through the different types of cancers, cancer therapies, common ingredients and how it affects the skin, oncology drugs used in treatment, and side effects. Currin's book discusses different spa services and how they can be modified to suit your clients'needs.

See the Reviews! Alluredbooks-Oncology Esthetics