An increased demand for massage and other complementary therapy treatments by local patients undergoing cancer treatment has led Rosemere Cancer Foundation to commit a further £15,600 to its funding over the coming months.Advertisement
The service, which is delivered at a holistic studio in Preston and within the cancer unit at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, returned last year after an enforced two-year absence caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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All patients undergoing cancer treatment at the unit and at Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital can self-refer themselves, plus family members, for a course of six free sessions. By the end of last year (December 2022), there was a waiting list, which it is hoped the funding boost will clear.
Holistic and oncology massage therapist Krista Chadwick said: “Sessions are designed to help patients feel like themselves again and to ease the pain of treatment side-effects.
“Patients are often very emotional and so incredibly thankful for the service. It really is a support and offers some respite against the traumas of what can at times be harsh treatments.”
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Data collated by Krista shows that since its return, the service has been accessed by patients from every PR postcode area ranging in age from their 20s to 70s.
Their cancers included breast, throat, bowel, lung and prostate cancer among others. The majority were undergoing chemotherapy while others were receiving radiotherapy. A small number – three patients – were receiving palliative care and there were also six family members (non-cancer patients) treated.
Female patients were more than twice as likely as male patients to refer themselves for treatment.
Dan Hill, chief officer of Rosemere Cancer Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be able to fund the extension of our complementary therapy service to PR postcodes. There’s a wealth of documented evidence supporting its use alongside conventional medical treatment in cancer patients.”
“It is good that demand for it has returned stronger than ever post Covid. Man to man, I would urge men eligible for it not to shy away or be embarrassed about referring themselves for a course of therapy. Its benefits are for all to experience and unless you give it a go, you will never know if it can help you too.”
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