Cancer is a disease that affects us all, with 7.6 million people worldwide losing their battle with cancer each year (more than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined), according to the Union for International Cancer Control, and, as the American Cancer Society states, “cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic, development, and human rights implications.”
In honor of February being National Cancer Prevention Month, we’ve rounded up a few wellness and spa treatments said to help play a part in cancer prevention or recovery. As well, we’ve included a few spas that are joining in on the fight, offering cancer patients special spa packages, events, and more.
Fighting Cancer Causes
“Cancer is a manifestation of a person’s divergence to nature and its ways. If we would follow and honor what our bodies need rather than our ‘wants,’ our bodies will be more able to avoid diseases,” Dr. Mike Vergara, medical director at The Farm at San Benito in the Philippines, has said.
How can you prevent cancer?
- Nutrition: Diets high in veggies, fruits, and plant foods help defend against nine different types of cancer—colon, stomach, and pancreatic, among them, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. (A plant-based diet is great for heart health, too!) “Nutrition is one of the pillars of cancer therapy, the others being detoxification and repair of organ systems,” Dr. Mike Vergara says.
- Exercise: Moving your body more decreases your risk of three types of cancer: endometrial, breast (post-menopausal), and colorectal cancer, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) says.
- Keep a steady weight: As well, “maintaining a healthy weight is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself against cancer,” apart from not smoking, AICR states. “About 400,000 cases of cancer in the U.S. could be prevented every year if we all ate healthier diets, moved more and stayed lean.”
And if on the road to recovery
- Manual lymph drainage: Though the benefits of manual lymph drainage have been debated, one randomized clinical trial on SpaEvidence.com discovered early physiotherapy, including manual lymph drainage, effectively worked in preventing secondary lymphedema in women who had surgery for breast cancer that involved dissection of lymph nodes.
- Yoga: A National Taiwan University review reported yoga has a “more positive impact” than supportive group therapy when it comes to reducing anxiety, depression, and stress in cancer patients.
- Massage: It was discovered that massage greatly reduces nausea in women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy, according to a University of Göteborg randomized controlled trial, found on Spaevidence.com.
- Pilates: Post-mastectomy breast cancer survivors saw significant improvements in shoulder and neck rotation, quality of life, mood, and body image when using the Pilates method, says a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic.
Spas Fighting Cancer
SK Sanctuary in La Jolla, California, has a breast cancer night, while Connecticut’s Spa at Norwich Inn has partnered with The ECHO Cancer Foundation to create a “fragile client” treatment menu that includes wellness massage therapy, a relaxation facial, and a hydrating body antidote. Here are additional spas—just a few of many!—catering to cancer patients.
- The Farm at San Benito’s Six-Night Integrative Cancer Care program focuses on natural, holistic approaches for the entire body, along with strengthening the immune system and boosting energy through scientific-based integrative therapies. The Farm’s team of medical specialists works with patients’ oncologists and administers such treatments as a nutritional assessment, individualized meal plan, colon hydrotherapy, IV vitamin infusions, and ozone therapy (image, right).
- Upachaya Eco-Lodge & Wellness Resort in Honduras offers all-inclusive Living Beyond Cancer – Healing in the Tropics retreats that focus on the physical and emotional issues regarding wellness following cancer treatment.
- Inspiritas Spa at the START Center for Cancer Care in San Antonio, Texas, is dedicated to providing patients with wellness offerings designed to relieve the pain and stress that comes with cancer and cancer treatments. Evidence-based healing-oriented medicine is set within the five National Institutes of Health-defined areas of complementary medicine.
*Find out what causes cancer and symptoms of cancer.
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Note: Always seek the advice of a qualified medical or health service provider before proceeding with any medical, fitness, or wellness treatment, program, or product.