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Oncology Massage


What is an oncology massage?

An oncology massage is a customized massage session designed to meet your unique needs as you go through cancer treatment or if you’ve had treatment in the past. Your massage plan will aim to help relieve the short- and long-term side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Oncology massage is provided by a licensed massage therapist who has received training in cancer and cancer treatment. You will receive traditional established massage therapy techniques that have been adapted to your unique health situation.

Who can participate in an oncology massage?

Oncology massage is for anyone who has or has had cancer. This includes those who have been recently diagnosed, those who are undergoing treatment currently and cancer survivors.

What are the benefits of an oncology massage?

Oncology massage is a unique therapy because it affects both parts of the mindbody connection. Comfort, relaxation, peace and serenity are the only goals of this gentle, caring one-on-one attention. Your massage can have effects in other aspects of your life as well. General benefits: Reduced stress, improved sleep, reduced fluid accumulation, eased constipation, increased alertness and mental clarity, reduced anxiety, less nausea and reduced pain. Benefits related to surgery: Reduced anxiety before your surgery, easier recovery from anesthesia after your surgery, reduced post-surgical pain, less scarring, reduced swelling, improved range of motion and easier adaptation to implants. Benefits related to radiation and chemotherapy: Reduced anxiety before and during treatment, less fatigue after your treatment, improved appetite and improved peripheral neuropathy. Emotional benefits: Less anxiety overall, decreased depression, greater feelings of well-being, improved body self-image, restored hope for the future and a feeling of satisfaction for taking control over a part of your healing process.

Learn more about massage therapy.

Schedule an oncology massage

To schedule a massage, please call 859-323-HEAL (4325).

To contact a practitioner for more information about oncology massage, call 859-323-1797 or email

UK Markey Cancer Center 
Ben F. Roach Building, Room CC111 
800 Rose St. 
Lexington, Ky. 
Marilyn Burke, LMT, APP, CITI

Marilyn is a licensed massage therapist who has practiced since 2003. She has worked in private practice and chiropractic settings. Marilyn trained with hospice, has advanced training in oncology massage and is certified in myoskeletal alignment as well as other alternative therapies. She teaches Reiki, guided meditation and stress management in private practice as well as an introduction to oncology massage in professional settings. It was because of her mother’s and a friend’s journey with cancer that Marilyn sought a career using massage therapy to help others. For further information on Markey oncology massage therapy services, call 859-323-1797.

Integrative medicine at UK HealthCare

We offer team-based integrative medicine options to provide patients with the most effective care possible. This patient-centered approach focuses on treatment of the whole person, with an emphasis on healing and wellness. Integrative medicine includes a variety of approaches that complement the outstanding traditional medical therapies available at UK HealthCare, with an aim of providing patients a well-rounded approach to treatment and care.

Learn more about UK Integrative Medicine & Health.