Is Massage Ok With Lymphedema?

Last Modified: June 26, 2011

OncoLink Cancer FAQ

I have lymphedema in my leg after cervical cancer treatment. A friend bought me a gift certificate for a massage. Can I do that?

OncoLink Cancer FAQ

Andrea Richtel-Branas, MSE, MPT, Lead Therapist, Good Shepherd Penn Partners, responds:

Relax and enjoy your gift. While you should avoid deep tissue massage in the leg and trunk that has lymphedema, you can have it in other parts of your body. In the leg and trunk that is affected, you can get a lighter touch massage or reiki treatment.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See full archive of IntegrativeTherapies in Cancer Care.


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by Christina Bach, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
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From the National Cancer Institute