BCCT plans to write a summary on aromatherapy. While our summary is in development, you can visit National Cancer Institute PDQ: Aromatherapy

Clinical Practice Guidelines

In the 2009 Society for Integrative Oncology clinical practice guidelines, aromatherapy massage is included under the following recommendation: “For cancer patients experiencing anxiety or pain, massage therapy delivered by an oncology-trained massage therapist is recommended as part of multimodality treatment. Grade of recommendation: 1C.” (1C indicates strong recommendation, low- or very low-quality evidence).1


Hundreds of essential oils are used in aromatherapy, and it would be impractical for BCCT to list all possible cautions and side effects for each essential oil. However, the user is advised to be aware that some essential oils used in aromatherapy in some individuals can cause adverse reactions. More common reactions are skin reactions, allergic reactions, respiratory reactions, phototoxicity (skin damage from sun and other intense light source exposure) and unpleasant psychological associations.

Integrative Programs, Protocols and Medical Systems

For more information about programs and protocols, see our Integrative Programs and Protocols page.

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