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Topic: Facial (or other spa treatment)?

Forum: Complementary and Holistic Medicine and Treatment — Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used WITH standard treatment. Holistic medicine is a term used to describe therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person.

Posted on: Jul 28, 2018 07:54AM

TwinkleCat wrote:

Hello everyone,

I am newly diagnosed -- still awaiting test results, and scheduled to meet with my doctors on 8/1. But I wanted to reach out to the community and ask about spa treatments...

My bestie wanted to treat me to a facial yesterday, but was told by the spa that they can't provide services to people with cancer. Something about circulation and lymph fluid, and that it's dangerous for people with cancer to get facials.

This sounds like pseudo-science to me. Curious whether others had been told something similar?

Truth is, I could take or leave a facial -- but I love massages.... and I really hope there's not a valid reason not to get them...

Thanks!

Mom to 5 cats, runner, choir nerd Dx 7/23/2018, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2018 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Radiation Therapy 8/21/2018 External: Brain Targeted Therapy 9/25/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Jul 28, 2018 12:02PM Georgia1 wrote:

Wow, I've never heard that. Sounds weird. And except for the temporary pain after surgery or radiation I don't know why you couldn't enjoy a massage!

Cancer touched my breast so I kicked its ass. Dx 9/3/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 10/10/2017, LCIS, Right, 0/1 nodes Surgery 10/10/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 11/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 28, 2018 12:26PM Brightness456 wrote:

Are they implying that the lymph fluid will carry the cancer out into other parts of the face or body? I’ve never heard that, but who knows. I will follow to see if anyone knows about this. Thanks for bringing it up.

Invasive ductal carcinoma Dx 6/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 8/9/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/13/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 9/13/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Jul 28, 2018 12:30PM Lula73 wrote:

yeah, they tend to freak when you say cancer. There is truth to the lymph fluid drainage issue. When they remove any of your lymph nodes during surgery it can adversely affect the lymph drainage and cause lymphedema. It’s usually triggered by some type of trauma to the arm/shoulder that’s on same side of lymph node removal. Trauma can be as simple as bumping your arm, blood pressure taken in that arm, blood draw/shot in that arm, etc. after surgery you’ll receive all the instructions. When you get a massage you’ll want to find someone trained in lymphatic massage or lymphedema. This is training over and above typical massage certification. There’s a particular way to do it that makes it safe.

There’s also an issue for about 4 months after surgery with risk of blood clots. Massage can make clots break free if the vessel wall and cause a blockage elsewhere in your body that can result in heart attack, stroke, respiratory arrest, etc. Very significant danger with massage too soon after surgery.

Facials are fine (anything above the shoulder is fine). After surgery of any kind, spa liability insurance will dictate when you can resume massage - usually 6 months to a year. Until you’ve had your surgery, i personally wouldn’t even mention the cancer. The way i look at it is you’ve had that cancer for awhile and you were getting massages so the knowledge of the cancer is the only difference. You’re still pre-op so no difference in blood clot or lymphatic drainage risk. Just my $0.02.

-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/13/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/2/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/1/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 28, 2018 01:42PM TwinkleCat wrote:

Thanks! I've done some digging around, and from what I've read, it sounds like concerns that massage/facials might make cancer spread are pretty outdated -- but that they persist. I'll certainly ask my doctors about it on Weds, but was curious as to whether anyone else had encountered this.

Mom to 5 cats, runner, choir nerd Dx 7/23/2018, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2018 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Radiation Therapy 8/21/2018 External: Brain Targeted Therapy 9/25/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Jul 28, 2018 01:47PM Georgia1 wrote:

Lula makes some very good points. Facials seem fine for the reasons she outlines, and lymphedema risk will depend on how many lymph nodes you have removed and your own personal biology. But a good question to ask your doctor after surgery. Best of luck with everything.

Cancer touched my breast so I kicked its ass. Dx 9/3/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 10/10/2017, LCIS, Right, 0/1 nodes Surgery 10/10/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 11/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 28, 2018 02:02PM Goincrzy8 wrote:

I get massages once a month and have before and after surgery (left mastectomy) I asked surgeon about massage and he said as long as I could lay on my stomach with no issues, he saw no problems. I had 13 nodes removed and my therapist is licensed for lymphatic massage. We waited almost a year after surgery and other treatments to try that. I had no lymphedia at all in the beginning or now. Massage has nothing to do with cancer spreading is what I was told. Treat yourself during this process as it is a process and takes a toll on you mentally and physically.

I am not sick, I have a few bad cells Dx 10/18/2016, IDC, Left, Grade 2, 12/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/9/2016 Mastectomy: Left
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Jul 30, 2018 11:43AM ctmbsikia wrote:

I was just in Saratoga Springs NY and did both a massage and a facial.  I was advised against the mineral bath by both the spa and my RO though.ThumbsDown

I also went in the sauna and experienced no issues what so ever being a little over 2 months out of radiation.

Dx 12/14/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/16/2018, LCIS, Right Surgery 1/31/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/11/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/25/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 3, 2018 01:43PM LoriCA wrote:

You might want to check with your local hospitals and wellness centers. The Women's Wellness Center at my hospital offers oncology facials and massages (including aromatherapy), and they are much cheaper than pricey SoCal salons. The therapists are certified in oncology massage and aromatherapy. They also have certified oncology estheticians to help with skin problems. As a nice bonus, caregivers can also get facials and massages at the same price.

Oncology massage therapists have additional training in:

  • Metastasis overview and surgical procedures
  • Chemotherapy side effects and radiation
  • Lymphedema (lymphatic obstruction) risks
  • Client-centered massage sessions
  • Contraindications of massage
  • Assessing the massage site, pressure, and positioning
IBC Stage IV de novo - mets throughout skeleton (bones & now bone marrow), liver, dozens of distant nodes, chest wall/pec muscle, skin, tumor in brachial nerves, thyroid, polycythemia from bone marrow involvement Dx 9/8/2017, IBC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 9/25/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 2/5/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/5/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/25/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/30/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Kadcyla (T-DM1, ado-trastuzumab)
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Aug 3, 2018 03:20PM Sara536 wrote:

Where I go for medical massage there is no tipping expected. I double and triple checked on that.


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Aug 3, 2018 04:36PM TwinkleCat wrote:

Thanks, LoriCA! I'll look into what is available here. I definitely want to make sure I go somewhere that knows what they're doing (and certainly don't want to show up for an appointment and then have them refuse to see me! How awful!

And FWIW, I told my surgeon about it when I saw him this week. I told him I thought it sounded like pseudo-science -- he said he wouldn't even call it pseudo-science! He was excited that my BFF wanted to treat me to a facial!

Loopy

Mom to 5 cats, runner, choir nerd Dx 7/23/2018, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2018 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Radiation Therapy 8/21/2018 External: Brain Targeted Therapy 9/25/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Aug 3, 2018 08:24PM Leatherette wrote:

This sounds crazy, especially because you haven’t started treatments yet. It may be bad after surgery and/or chemo.

I got a massage in May after having chemo end in the previous Nov. and tissue expander placed in Feb., and I have to say, I was super dizzy after, and it took a while to recover from the daze. I don’t know why it happened, but it had never happened before.

I hope you get your facial before treatments start!



Age 45 at diagnosis Dx 5/2017, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 6/19/2017 Mastectomy: Left Dx 6/23/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 7/25/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 7/25/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 7/2/2018 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap

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