Holistic Therapies and Prostate Cancer


Meet the Team

Prostate Cancer UK supported many organisations across the UK to facilitate and deliver a number of programmes of activities which address wellbeing, physical activity and mental health. These projects were funded by The Movember Foundation.

The Problem

A diagnosis of prostate cancer and some cancer treatments can cause side effects and symptoms such as stress, anxiety and insomnia.  Having been through treatments, men often desire a service that is centred around their mental and emotional health and is not medically focussed.

The Solution

Many complementary therapies concentrate on boosting relaxation and reducing stress. They can help to calm emotions, relieve anxiety and increase general sense of wellbeing. Funding from Prostate Cancer UK helped deliver a number services providing holistic therapies such as massage, reflexology, and physical exercise, to men affected by prostate cancer and their partners. The services helped to relieve the stress and anxiety associated with living with prostate cancer.

Massage is one of the oldest therapies in existence and is a form of structured or therapeutic touch which can be used to relax and relieve muscle pain and tension. Increasingly, massage therapies are recognised for helping cancer patients cope with the stress and anxiety associated with their diagnosis, unpleasant side effects of their treatment, and the removal of symptom burden. Research has also shown that touch therapy has a modulating effect on patient anxiety and increases psychological well-being.

The Results

Throughout the UK:

  • More than 1,000 people became more aware of their ability to access support services and information
  • 684 people gained awareness and understanding of the side effects of treatment and managing those side effects
  • And 455 health professionals/support group leaders/volunteers gained the knowledge and confidence to signpost to patients to the accessible and culturally appropriate sources of support and information

At the South East Cancer Help Centre:

  • 100% of men saw greater opportunities for peer support
  • 68% of men saw an improvement in health and wellbeing

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust:

  • 84% of men reported a greater sense of physical wellbeing
  • 40% of men reported a greater sense of mental wellbeing

General outcomes also included:

  • A reduction in identified concern
  • A self reported greater sense of physical and mental well being
They make me much calmer. I’m not as worried…it sounds daft! I’m sleeping better, coping better with the emotional side of things
Michael prostate cancer patient

Find out more