OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Massage for Cancer Patients

A person with cancer is lying down and getting a back massage from a therapist in a clinic.

Human touch is one of the oldest forms of medicine. Oncology massage is a special type of therapy for people with cancer. Studies show that it can help you cope with symptoms like pain, fatigue, anxiety and more.

At the Knight Cancer Institute, you’ll find therapists with the training and experience to treat people with cancer.

We focus on treating the whole person. Our massage therapists work with your health care team as part of your treatment. They are trained to support you through your illness.

What is oncology massage?

Oncology massage is a special type of bodywork designed to help people before, during and after cancer treatment. You may feel tired from radiation treatment, nauseated from chemotherapy or stressed about finances. Every patient is unique.

Our therapists ground their work in compassion. They have specific training to help people with cancer. For example, they know how to work around a chemotherapy port or with swelling caused by surgery. They do a thorough assessment of your situation and modify their touch to provide support, comfort and relief. This creates a sense of relaxation and well-being, which helps you heal.

How does oncology massage help?

Many studies show that massage can help people cope with symptoms of cancer and side effects of cancer treatment. Benefits include:

  • Less pain
  • Less anxiety
  • Less nausea
  • More energy
  • Better relaxation
  • Better sleep

Where can I get an oncology massage?

What is the cost?

Sessions are free. The Knight Cancer Institute Massage Therapy Program is supported by a generous donation.

How can I sign up?

Ask your care team to put you on the list. Our massage therapists do not accept appointments and work limited hours. They may not be available for every visit.

What other types of support do you offer for people with cancer?

Cancer is a physical disease, but it can affect all aspects of your life. We offer many types of support services for people with cancer.

For patients

Call 503-494-7999 to:

  • Request an appointment
  • Seek a second opinion
  • Ask questions

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