Oncology massage brings relief to FCIC cancer patients

Oncology massage brings relief to FCIC cancer patients


Late last year, the FMC Foundation started an oncology massage program in the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC) to help relieve some of the anxiety felt by patients receiving chemotherapy.

The busy Flinders Infusion Suite in the FCIC has 12 chairs and two beds and delivers approximately 650 chemotherapy infusions per month.

Patients attending the suite often spend up to four hours receiving treatment, and many feel unwell and anxious during this time.

The FMC Foundation discovered an oncology massage program at another hospital and commissioned Oncology Massage Therapist Karen Molnar to start a similar program at Flinders.

Oncology massage Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer

Through the new program, a certified oncology massage therapist visits the Infusion Suite for two hours a day to offer free 20 minute hand and foot massage to patients receiving treatment.

"Having chemotherapy can cause anxiety in many people on top of the often terrible side effects of the treatment," said Karen.

"Not only does having a 20 minute gentle foot or hand massage feel fantastic, it helps to take the patient's mind off their treatment.

"We have found it helps alleviate the anxiety and create a wonderful feeling of relaxation."

Three certified oncology massage therapists have been hired by the FMC Foundation to deliver the program, which has been received extraordinarily well by both patients and staff.

Each patient who receives a free massage is asked to fill out a feedback form.

More than 215 forms have been filled out anonymously with comments like the following praising the program:

"They had problems getting my needle in for this treatment and the foot massage and your voice relaxed me so was able to get the needle in the vein."

Patient Bob Mills, pictured with Karen Molnar, said it was his very first massage and he "thoroughly enjoyed the relaxation".

The FMC Foundation is working with the FCIC and FMC to develop a series of free programs for cancer patients post and current treatment.

The Foundation is currently seeking funding to expand the oncology massage program and will also shortly start a Mindfulness for Cancer Stress meditation course for 15 participants.

To make a donation to support the program please call the FMC Foundation on 8204 5216 or visit www.fmcfoundation.com.au.