Booking a luxury spa day might seem to be the perfect antidote to grueling cancer treatment.
Yet a great deal of so-called fear still exists – among customers and many therapists – about taking such a step. Some beauty therapists are concerned about treating those who have recently had surgery or chemotherapy or who are on a cocktail of medication.
Meanwhile, some patients are unnerved by scare stories about whether some spa treatments can actually act as a trigger for the disease to return, not least, the often-repeated line that massage can push cancer cells round the body – for which experts say there is no evidence.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause skin to become extremely sensitive, itchy and sore. Nails and skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet can also crack and weep.
Yet Dany Bell, of Macmillan Cancer Support, says spa sessions could help people with cancer feel less stressed, cope with symptoms or the side effects of treatment, and feel more in control.
Thankfully, many luxury spas in the UK are now responding to the needs of those who have been through or are still living with cancer, by offering tailored treatments (though patients should always seek advice from their oncology team before having a treatment).
Here, we round up some of the most luxurious on offer in the UK.
Why go there: This five-star boutique hotel overlooking Durham’s heritage coast offers a selection of treatments for anyone having or recovering from cancer treatment (or supporting them). They include a Chinese massage which aims to invoke a meditative state of relaxation, revive the skin and ease tension.