Project Description


Diploma in Oncology Massage & Cancer Care

An amazing opportunity to study a 3 day oncology programme from an award winning team, Marc Innes and Joseph O’Dwyer.

In 2019, Marc Innes was presented with an award from the TPOT (The Power of Touch) foundation for Inspirational Trainer of the Year, for his work in oncology education, massage and touch therapy.

This course will be presented jointly by the School of Natural Therapies Principal Marc Innes, and Director of Sport, Remedial and Soft Tissue Therapies, Joseph O’Dwyer.

Together, they will be offering a 3-day accredited programme (Level 3) for massage, beauty, and spa therapists, to enable them to feel confident in offering a variety of services to clients on a cancer treatment pathway, or living with and beyond cancer.

A great opportunity also for therapists to understand vital information on the fascial network, movement and myofascial lines, which are disrupted by cancer related surgery – this always results in loss of range of movement, pain and dysfunction. There is a gifted opportunity to learn some remedial techniques alongside massage, which is usually adapted for clients being treated for, living with, or recovering from cancer treatment. This is covered in depth over the 3 day programme.

Learners will also be introduced to the important information regarding the biology of cancer, treatments for cancer and oncology related terminology.

For beauty and spa therapists attending this programme, we will cover topics such as skincare and hand & foot rituals specifically adapted for clients with compromised health. 

Entry requirement – U.K. recognised and regulated Diploma at Level 3 or above, which must include a form of massage, alongside Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology (A, P & P). Examples would include ITEC/VTCT, CIBTAC, CIDESCO.

Please check with us if you are unsure as to whether your qualification meets our requirements.

Why work with clients who have or are recovering from cancer?

Sobering statistics from world health experts predict that one in two people will experience some form of cancer in their lifetime. For this reason, it is more important than ever to support clients who are living with cancer or have a history of cancer.

We know very well that cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy cause side effects. Some side effects are short term and unfortunately some are long term. We often hear that after care is an afterthought!!

To that end, we have developed evidence- based techniques to reduce pain, increase range of motion and improve overall quality of life, during and post treatment recovery.

There are numerous global studies to support the use of light touch, gentle massage to ease the burden of cancer related side effects. Massage has been shown to be safe, effective and is the most sought-after complimentary therapy in cancer care.

We will have an opportunity to utilise adapted massage techniques for our client models, who attend certain practical aspects of the course.

In addition, massage can provide some effective remedial help for pain, dysfunction and loss of range of motion and mobility – this course will introduce learners to some effective techniques, to begin to alleviate troublesome and in some cases, long standing issues.

We often term the cancer surgery as ‘orchestrated trauma’ as surgery will undoubtedly cause a structural alteration to the fascial network, which can lead to musco-skeletal pain and dysfunction.

For this reason, any engagement with the body wouldn’t be complete without some discussion and understanding of this fascial network and its importance in function – and therefore – dysfunction, for clients in recovery from cancer surgery.

Alongside this, we will discover:

  • The biology of cancer and how it develops in the body.
  • Oncology terminology
  • How cancer is treated in the medical arena.
  • Adapted massage techniques and client positioning on the massage table.
  • Cancer related surgery and how we can help restore mobility and reduce pain & dysfunction
  • Lymphoedema awareness and our 6-step lymphatic protocol, which can be utilised prior to and post-massage
  • The importance of appropriate skin care products and massage mediums.
  • Prevention of cancer and wellness education

The Foundation Level in Cancer Care Massage recognises the vital role that massage, and other holistic treatments play in recovery from cancer treatments, but strongly recognises and respects any associated medical and clinical treatment. 

We look forward to welcoming you to this foundational 3-day programme where you will work directly with clients who will share their personal stories and explain their cancer journey. Our understanding will contribute to our treatment protocols, which we will have an opportunity to explore during the course, on live models.

Together, we will create bespoke touch therapy treatments to address their specific needs and practice the art of therapeutic touch and massage. You will gain confidence in conducting a thorough intake and completing all necessary documents to support this certification including information on insurance and record keeping.

Opportunities for further development

Students who wish to work with clients in post-surgery, reconstructive surgery and recovery, may enrol on our forthcoming diploma course, which advances their knowledge and skills, in order to assess, treat and provide homecare and rehabilitation service and advice.

Marc Innes is a founder members of SATCC, a board of leading spa and wellness professionals, who have three aims: – 

  • A direct means for consumers to find SATCC accredited safe and welcoming salons, spas and therapists, who offer treatments for those touched by cancer.
  • A register of SATCC approved training providers for salons, spas and therapists to further their cancer education.
  • A source of inspiration, research and guidance for those scouring the internet for authenticity.

Naturally, The School of Natural Therapies are SATCC approved course providers.

Please see link below for further information on SATCC: – 

SATCC | Standards Authority for Touch in Cancer Care

Course Structure

This three-day  Diploma in Oncology Massage & Cancer Care consists of 9 learning outcomes, detailed below, which will build upon the learner’s current knowledge and experience: –

  • The Biology of Cancer – an understanding of what cancer is, how it grows and develops and how cancer is categorised, according to the tissue type affected. We will also study the risk factors associated with cancer development.
  • Oncology terminology – this is highly relevant when discussing case history and intake forms for the consultation process
  • How cancer is treated – we look closely at chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy amongst other common treatments, considering the ongoing development of new treatments as well.
  • Cancer Surgery – one important aspect to consider are the short- and longer-term effects of surgery and clients often need massage intervention to help alleviate mobility issues and discomfort. The Fascial Network is vital to consider – we will discover….
    • The Fascial Network – its characteristics and composition – we will expand upon the makeup of the fascia, it’s characteristics and behaviour to better understand how we can utilise that knowledge to make a positive impact through our hands-on intervention and approach.
    • Models of movement & myofascial lines – here we will discuss muscle and movement, it’s relationship with fascia and how modern studies have changed our thought processes with regard to this fascia and body mechanics. We will discuss the connectivity of muscle, fascia and bone to enlighten our understanding of the body’s balance and the impact of disruption, leading to restricted movement and referred pain.
    • The body’s repair mechanism and the formation of scar tissue – to improve on restricted movement knowledge of the body’s method of repair will inform our treatment protocol.
  • Side effects – long- and short-term effects of the treatments above, and the considerations a therapist needs to understand
  • Lymphoedema – a knowledge of and an understanding of the development of this common side effect, associated with cancer treatment
  • 6-Step Lymphatic Protocol – during the programme we will explore a 6-Step Lymphatic Support Protocol to ensure that we support this system, during massage
  • Product Ingredients – what should be avoided during cancer treatment and what recommended and appropriate massage mediums and skincare are advised? – very relevant to spa services and beauty treatments
  • Prevention of cancer and wellness education.

Supervised Practice

During the course programme, learners will develop their skills and confidence, with exposure to real life models, each of whom are on a cancer journey, and have volunteered to participate in the practical sessions.

Opportunities for further development

Students who wish to work with clients in post-surgery, reconstructive surgery and recovery, may enrol on our forthcoming diploma course, which advances their knowledge and skills, in order to assess, treat and provide homecare and rehabilitation service and advice.

Course Fees

The cost of the 3-day programme is £457.00

The fees include:

  • A guided and dynamic learning environment, with tutor support.
  • Comprehensive course manual.
  • Accredited Diploma Certificate.
  • Access to recommended insurance.
  • On successful completion, access to the SATCC register’s FIND A THERAPIST listing, as an independent therapist who offers oncology massage.
  • The course will also carry 15 CPD points.
  • Access to volunteers during the course – this means supervised practice with clients who are being treated for, recovering from or are living with cancer.
  • A friendly and relaxed learning environment.

To reserve your place, you will need to pay your course deposit of £257.00 via the website – please see the green BOOK ONLINE box to make your payment.

The balance of the course fee of £200.00 will need to be paid one month before the course start date. 

If booking less than one month before the course start date, the balance of payment will need to be paid in full, within 2 days of making the deposit payment.  

Alternatively, to pay the full course fee of £495.00, please call us on: – 0203 544 6544.

Exam Details

  • Learners will be continuously assessed throughout the course programme.
  • We will be monitoring practical performance and the consultation process, using a detailed intake form for our volunteer clients.
  • Learners will also be required to undertake a 25-question multiple choice exam paper for the theory element of this course.
  • Supervised Practice – on day three, a treatment and an assessment on a real client, who will have a history of cancer and will be treated by the learners alongside a detailed intake form.


Will I find the course upsetting?
Naturally, the subject matter involved is emotive and for some clients, their illness may mean that their life is likely to become shortened – some may even have a terminal diagnosis.

Additionally, some learners may have experienced the illness themselves, or have close friends or family members who have had or are currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

For some, this will bring up some memories or emotions and if meeting clients with cancer, is likely to upset you, we would suggest holding off until some time in the future perhaps.

What we can state is that many people with cancer, even with a terminal diagnosis, live very full lives and have developed a mental strategy for acceptance of their diagnosis and prognosis.

On this note, please know that for many, massage and holistic treatments can bring a wealth of benefits for those with cancer – and if you wish to be a part of the process that brings a rewarding experience for yourself, as  well as your future clients, then this course is for you.

I want to work with people who have cancer, but I don’t have any previous massage experience, or a UK recognised qualification – can I sign up for this course?
Unfortunately you will need to have your foundational knowledge in massage and must be qualified in the U.K.  You can get qualified by clicking on the link below, which takes you to our Diploma in Massage, or Diploma in Sports Massage Level 3 courses, which are awarded by ITEC and VTCT.

Diploma in Massage 

ITEC Holistic Massage Courses | The School of Natural Therapies | London

Diploma in Sports Massage

ITEC Level 3 Sports Massage Course | The School of Natural Therapies

We will train and guide you throughout the course on practical massage techniques and all sports massage related theory, including anatomy and physiology, through to scheduled exam days at the school.

Will I have to study Anatomy & Physiology again?
We will be covering some anatomy and physiology as part of this course, which is vital in understanding subject matter such as how cancer develops and grows, what lymphoedema is a few examples.

Do I need to do any pre-reading or preparation before the course starts?
No, we will cover all the information you will need to know on the course, but do feel free to start your own research if you wish to.

What will I need to bring to the course?
Yes you will, as follows: – 

  • 2 bath towels for personal use. 
  • You will provided with a course manual, which contains comprehensive course notes. 
  • General writing materials will be needed, so please make sure you bring these along and perhaps a note pad.

Will there be lots of essay or assignments?
No, we only ask you to make course notes throughout the course programme and we will ask you to complete a 25-question multiple choice exam paper (MCQP) at the end of the course, as part of your certification.

What if English is not my first language, or if I haven’t studied for a long time?
We would expect anyone applying to possess a reasonable command of English language, both written and oral.

I have dyslexia
We can assist those who struggle with English, don’t have English as their first language, or have dyslexia.

Is there an age limit?
We prefer students to be at least 21 years of age in order to undertake this course. Younger students may apply by contacting us and acceptance on this programme is subject to telephone interview first.

Do I have to provide my own ‘clients’ to practise on for coursework?
No, we organise and provide clients, who volunteer their time to come along and receive a treatment. It is also an opportunity to talk to people who have had or are being treated for cancer and to question and therefore understand their experiences, which is always very helpful for you as a learner.

I have a relative, friend or family member who has cancer – can I invite them along as a volunteer?
Please talk to us about this before the course starts and if possible, we will do our best to accommodate them as a volunteer model, for the practical element of this course.

Can I leave my belongings at the venue between sessions?
Students cannot leave belongings at the venue as there is very limited storage available.

Are the massage classes single sex?
The massage classes will include all genders. You will need to advise us in advance if you have an objection to that and we will advise you if this course is suitable. Our models are also of mixed sexual or gender origin as well, so we cannot guarantee who you will treat throughout the course.

Course Tutors

Marc Innes

SNT Principal, Marc Innes, has a background of 23 years NHS experience; during his time as a paramedic, he cared for and transported many patients suffering from cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment.

Latterly, Marc was a Superintendent of the 999-call centre for the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust, looking after the service provision of primary healthcare, such as ambulances, ambulance helicopters and first responders across London.

In 2007 Marc left the NHS to pursue a career in massage and holistic medicine, resulting in him purchasing and taking over the School of Natural Therapies (SNT) as Principal in 2010. SNT is now a leading school for massage and holistic therapies in London.

Marc holds certification in the following modalities:

  • Reiki (Usui, Tibetan & Karuna Master)
  • Massage – various disciplines such as Holistic, Sports & Hot Stone and Pregnancy and Oncology.
  • First Aid Trainer
  • Lymphatic Drainage 
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping)

Working as a consultant with well-known and leading and award-winning U.K. organic skincare brand, Made for Life Organics, (spearheaded by MD, Amanda Winwood), Marc researched and developed an industry recognised 3-day educational programme, which was rolled out across many spas in the U.K. – this included well known and respected spa providers such as Center Parcs. 

The aim of the programme was simple – to educate and inspire spas, salons and massage therapists to lose their fear and open their doors to clients at all stages of their cancer journey, for massage, facials and beauty treatments.


In 2016 Marc and The School of Natural Therapies, was the recipient of a Platinum Industry Award by BBC Radio 2 DJ and author, Janey Lee Grace.

In 2019, Marc was recognised in the spa industry as Inspirational Trainer of the Year, by the organisation TPOT (The Power of Touch) for his contribution in inspiring and training spa therapists to open their doors to clients with cancer – such people would have previously been turned from spas and salons, due to their condition.

Marc has spoken at various forums in the U.K. including London’s Olympia, as a panellist and industry expert on Oncology and massage. He has also presented internationally in Eastern Europe on this subject matter.

Joseph O’Dwyer

Joseph O'Dwyer

Joseph’s interest in massage was first evoked following years of unresolved back pain.

Having always been involved in sport ….  spending his youth as a competitive Judo player, his University years as a powerlifter and the last 15 studying Kempo Jujitsu, Joseph had unwittingly imbalanced his musco-skeletal system.

His overuse injury had not only been a painful but expensive journey, which finally ended as he sought answers at the School of Natural Therapies.

“Having felt ‘at home’ from the first day of attending the SNT, I realised I was in the company of true professionals who detected and addressed my back issue with ease. I needed no more convincing of the value of massage therapy and it’s associated skills …. I was hooked and haven’t stop studying, practising and delivering treatments since.

It’s an absolute honour and privilege to be a tutor at the School of Natural Therapies. My intention is to bring my own passion and style to lift the skills of all our students to reach their full potential during their learning experience.”

Joseph’s Qualifications:

  • ITEC Anatomy & Physiology -School of Natural Therapies – 2011
  • ITEC Holistic Massage -School of Natural Therapies – 2011
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • BTEC Clinical Sports and Remedial Massage -School of Natural Therapies – 2013
  • PTTLS Teacher Training Certificate -Advanced Training Academy – Croydon – 2013
  • BA Theology and Philosophy
  • Member of ISRM
  • Kempo Jujitsu Instructor
  • Qualified with John Gibbons as a ‘Bodymaster Method ® Practitioner
  • Osteopathic Articulation
  • Medical Acupuncture

Course Dates and Info

Sept 16th, 17th, 18th 2024

Course Cost: – £457.00

Location: Our Clapham Centre

Limited places available….book early to avoid disappointment

SATCC logo


In association with

Latest Reviews

5 star rating

How informative Joseph and Marc are and how welcoming they were.

T.Chirembo (November 26, 2023)

5 star rating

Everything was very clear! So important the topics we covered and Joseph and Marc are amazing trainers!! Everything was perfect….amazing team!

E Kourapa (November 26, 2023)

5 star rating

Professional & knowledgeable trainers with excellent training materials provided. Highly recommended course!!

A. Bratu (November 26, 2023)

5 star rating

I attended this course in July, delivered by Christine and Marc. It was hugely valuable – we were given lots of information and context about how cancer originates and spreads, the physical and emotional after effects of cancer and how massage can help (some helpful myth-busting around massage and cancer was also discussed!). We also had the great privilege of working directly with clients who had been through cancer treatments and were able to adapt our treatments to each client and directly employ our skills in situ. This was hugely valuable to really get grips with how to apply our skills and just how varied the disease is in terms of the needs of each client. I believe every therapist should have these skills and be able to provide safe treatments for those affected by cancer.

Ariel Moreton (August 19, 2022)