Should I say anything? Many massage therapists ask themselves this question when they come across a concerning lump or skin abnormality on a massage client. As a health care provider I believe it is our duty to let people know if we find a lump or a spot on the skin that looks abnormal. We are not diagnosing, we are just giving a client a heads up that something doesn’t look or feel right and they should see a doctor.
A fellow massage therapist told me the story of one of her clients. She was massaging the client’s serratus anterior when she discovered a lump near the armpit. She told her that the lump was there and she had her feel the lump so she could show it to her MD. The client did find out that she had breast cancer. However, because of this therapist’s actions the client was able to receive treatment early on for what ended up being breast cancer. She is alive today in part because of this therapist’s attention to detail and for disclosing what she found to the client.
Don’t be afraid to speak up, you might just help save someone’s life.
I have included a list of 5 signs a massage therapist should keep an eye out for when performing massage or bodywork.
1. Any unusual lumps, especially near lymph nodes.
2. Skin abnormalities, especially in areas a client can’t see on their own
3. Rashes that look inflamed or irritated
4. Unusual skin discoloration
5. Unusual swelling
To learn more about signs to look out for click here.