Effectiveness of aromatherapy with light thai massage for cellular immunity improvement in colorectal cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
Asian Pacific Journal Cancer Prevention 2013;14(6):3903-7.
Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
Patients with colorectal cancer are usually treated with chemotherapy, which reduces the number of blood cells, especially white blood cells, and consequently increases the risk of infections. Some research studies have reported that aromatherapy massage affects the immune system and improves immune function by, for example, increasing the numbers of natural killer cells and peripheral blood lymphocytes. However, there has been no report of any study which provided good evidence as to whether aromatherapy with Thai massage could improve the immune system in patients with colorectal cancer. The objectives of this study were to determine whether the use of aromatherapy with light Thai massage in patients with colorectal cancer, who have received chemotherapy, can result in improvement of the cellular immunity and reduce the severity of the common symptoms of side effects.
Materials and Methods
Sixty-six patients with colorectal cancer in Phichit Hospital, Thailand, were enrolled in a single-blind, randomised-controlled trial. The intervention consisted of three massage sessions with ginger and coconut oil over a 1-week period. The control group received standard supportive care only. Assessments were conducted at pre-assessment and at the end of one week of massage or standard care. Changes from pre-assessment to the end of treatment were measured in terms of white blood cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, CD4 and CD8 cells and the CD4/CD8 ratio and also the severity of self-rated symptom scores.
The main finding was that after adjusting for pre-assessment values the mean lymphocyte count at the post-assessment was significantly higher (P=0.04) in the treatment group than in the controls. The size of this difference suggested that aromatherapy with Thai massage could boost lymphocyte numbers by 11%. The secondary outcomes were that at the post assessment the symptom severity scores for fatigue, presenting symptom, pain and stress were significantly lower in the massage group than in the standard care controls.
Aromatherapy with light Thai massage can be beneficial for the immune systems of cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy by increasing the number of lymphocytes and can help to reduce the severity of common symptoms.
We Lost the War on Cancer – Review of Alternative Cancer Therapies
We have lost the war on cancer. At the beginning of the last century, one person in twenty would get cancer. In the 1940s it was one out of every sixteen people. In the 1970s it was one person out of ten. Today one person out of three gets cancer in the course of their life.
The cancer industry is probably the most prosperous business in the United States. In 2014, there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 cancer deaths in the US. $6 billion of tax-payer funds are cycled through various federal agencies for cancer research, such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI states that the medical costs of cancer care are $125 billion, with a projected 39 percent increase to $173 billion by 2020.
The simple fact is that the cancer industry employs too many people and produces too much income to allow a cure to be found. All of the current research on cancer drugs is based on the premise that the cancer market will grow, not shrink.
John Thomas explains to us why the current cancer industry prospers while treating cancer, but cannot afford to cure it in Part I. In Part II, he surveys the various alternative cancer therapies that have been proven effective, but that are not approved by the FDA.
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