Oncology Massage Practitioner Diploma

Oncology Massage Practitioner Diploma

20 cpd points

Oncology Massage offers therapists the opportunity to work with those affected by cancer. If you or a loved one is living with cancer you will know that it can be a powerful life changing experience. The diagnosis of cancer can bring a great deal of anxiety and fear to the cancer patient and their caregivers. Often the cancer patient`s whole world is turned upside down. Adapting to cope with the diagnosis, the treatment plan and any symptoms & side effects can be a huge mountain to climb physically, emotionally & practically.


Skilled touch is beneficial at nearly every stage of the cancer experience, during the following:

  • diagnosis and prognosis stages
  • hospitalisation
  • the pre- or post-operative period
  • in the out-patient clinic
  • during chemotherapy and radiation
  • recovery at home
  • remission or cure
  • and in the end stages of life.

Complementary Therapies and Cancer


The use of Complementary Therapies for clients suffering from Cancer is becoming more and more the norm than the exception. With current epidemiology suggesting that 1 in 3 people will experience cancer during their lifetime. Furthermore, the number of newly diagnosed cases in adults over the age of 50 doubling every decade. As a result, more and more therapists will work with clients who have, or have recovered from cancer.


To be a truly effective therapist we must have a clear understanding of Cancer. Not only its causes, its effect on the individual and their close relatives and friends, but also the various treatments and drug therapies in use today. In addition we mus understand the side effects resulting from these treatments. We must learn how we as the therapist need to adapt our treatments for the client, and their nearest and dearest, to gain the greatest benefit from the treatment.


One of the most relaxing and enjoyable experiences for a person with cancer (or for any other human being, for that matter) is to receive gentle, compassionate, accepting touch from another person. Touch is fundamental. The goal of oncology massage is to enhance the patient’s natural healing abilities by providing a gentle, soothing supportive touch. Massage now plays a major role in palliative care (symptom relief) for cancer patients. It is used by many hospitals, hospices and self-help groups. Massage can also be used to help family, friends and carers.

What is the MSCM Oncology Massage Practitioner Diploma


This unique post graduate diploma training course, has been developed for massage therapists who have a special interest in working with people with cancer. It provides the information and experience to prepare you to work safely and confidently with clients who have a history of cancer or are currently in treatment for the disease.


The course is designed to give you a greater understanding of Cancer, its causes and common treatments used today. We then explore the use of Massage to treat the side-effects of the various treatments on offer and to improve the sufferer`s quality of life.


As a Complementary Practitioner, it is vital to be fully educated and trained before working on anyone who has cancer.

Course Details


During the course you will cover the following:

Oncology Massage Theory – Days One and Two

  • Overview of cancer and the allopathic treatment
  • Main causes of Cancer – Understanding how cancer spreads
  • Cancer prevention – the role of complementary therapist
  • Types of Cancer. Including statistics and trends
  • The basic physiology of cancer and metastasis
  • Symptoms that may indicate potential cancer
  • Conventional and alternative cancer tests
  • Exploring the issues of massage and cancer
  • Understanding the psychological aspects of living with a potentially fatal disease
  • Conventional cancer treatments and their side-effects and controversies

Oncology Massage Practical – Days Three and Four

  • Benefits of massage for cancer and palliative care clients in the home, hospital and hospice
  • Common Side effects of treatment and symptoms of disease and the use of massage including the following;
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea
    • Insomnia
    • Exhaustion
    • Weakness in the limbs
    • Depression
    • Hair Loss
    • Radiation
    • Burns
    • Lymphoedema & Oedema
    • Scars and adhesions
    • GI Tract disorders
    • Constipation
  • Adaptations necessary. Such as, for people undergoing surgery, radiation
    or chemotherapy or who have a history of cancer
  • How to adapt massage techniques for safe practice
  • Client and practitioner positioning
  • The role of touch and other complementary therapies in cancer care
  • The dos and don’ts for therapists
  • Helping care providers – family and friends
  • What to use in massage.  Such as, various carrier oils and other products
  • Teaching family members to massage
  • Seated exercise for cancer patients
  • Cautions and contra-indications
  • Guidelines for safe practice
  • Consultation Procedure for people with a history of cancer


On this course you will learn to adapt massage therapy techniques to work safely and effectively with people diagnosed with cancer. This specialised practice requires you to not only pay close attention to the physical needs of clients in all stages of cancer and cancer treatment, but also the emotional, and psychological . It allows a consistent standard of skill to be applied in whatever environment the person with experience of cancer chooses to receive their therapy.



A 75 minute exam usually on Day 3 of the course.


A project on a particular aspect of Cancer. The project should be approx. 2000 words (minimum 1000) and be correctly referenced.


Further evidence of clinical experience is encouraged where possible for all attendees and distinction grades may only be awarded to those who have provided this. The deadline for completing all assessment requirements is 6 months from the completion of the course.


This course is an advanced diploma open to qualified Massage Therapists. We will send you a diploma certificate following completed course work and exams.

Who Can Attend?

This workshop is open to practitioners, qualified in any form of Body Massage Therapy.

Recognition by Professional Associations

Widely accepted by most Professional Bodies. If you are not already registered with a Professional Body and would like to do so here are some useful links – ICGT, CtHA, FHT. For stand alone insurance Balens

More Information


Please note – Therapists who have completed the Oncology Reflexology Practitioner Diploma will be exempt from the first weekend of this course and the course fees will be discounted accordingly ie £195.00 (+VAT) plus half price exam fee. (You will not be required to retake the exam but will need to submit case studies for marking)


The content of the second weekend of the course is practical  – please wear appropriate clinic workwear. During the practical sessions you will practise on each other under the supervision of the tutor who will offer guidance and feedback.


Duration: 4 days


Course fees include the following:

  • All class tuition
  • A comprehensive course manual
  • An MSCM Certificate of Attendance for your professional portfolio
  • 20 cpd points

Exam Fees:  – £50.00 (+VAT) – Payable prior to course commencement.


Covers the following:

  • Exam registration
  • Practical assessment
  • Marking of theory exam
  • Assessment of assignments
  • Marking/assessment of case studies
  • Issue of Diploma
  • Postage of diploma by Registered Post


Tutor: Margaret Karlinski – see our MSCM Tutor Page 


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Course Dates

September 2022 - October 2022 - 2 weekends - Starting 17th September - 10am - 5pm

Cost: £375.00 (+VAT)

Interest-free Easy Payment Plan available upon request.£50.00 (+VAT) deposit, payable on booking.
Fees incl. exam fees
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