Middlesex Hospital offering study for breast cancer survivors - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Middlesex Hospital offering study for breast cancer survivors

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Massages may help breast cancer survivors (WFSB) Massages may help breast cancer survivors (WFSB)
MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) - Middlesex Hospital is currently conducting a study on massage therapy and its effects on the fatigue often experienced by breast cancer survivors.

Vivian Macalpine, of Cromwell, was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago and is now in remission.

At least one year after completing her active treatment, she says she was still feeling an extreme amount of fatigue.

"I would go to bed early, after waking up still after a night's rest, still feeling tired," she said. "I go about my daily routine usually feeling tired. But never feeling really revitalized or invigorated - just always tired."

Experts said this weariness is something many breast cancer survivors can experience post-treatment for months and sometimes even years.

Pat O'Brien, a nurse practitioner and the coordinator for the Center of Survivorship and Integrative Medicine at Middlesex Hospital, said there is a transition period when survivors finish treatment and get back into their normal life.

"Often times the recommendations that they'll make are for integrative medicine and modality, reflexology and massage," O'Brien said.

Middlesex Hospital's Cancer Center recently began a randomized controlled study to find out how effective something like a massage would be for those who are dealing with the post cancer-related fatigue.

During the study, participants receive one massage per week for four weeks, and answer questions about their level of fatigue.

To qualify, participants must be a breast cancer survivor and at least one year out from active treatment.

Macalpine qualified to participate and said she decided to give the study a chance. She said this is something she was glad she did.

"I felt active, I felt strengthened, and during the massage itself - very relaxed; which I don't normally feel on a given day," Macalpine said.

Middlesex Hospital is still looking for participants.

For those interested in participating in this research study and feel you meet the qualifications, call 860-358-2077 and leave a message.

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