Massage therapy may have immediate benefits on pain and mood among patients with advanced cancer. In a randomized trial of 380 advanced cancer patients at 15 U.S. hospices, improvement in pain and mood immediately following treatment was greater with massage than with simple touch. Pain and depressed mood are common problems for patients with advanced cancer. While drug therapies can reduce symptoms, they dont always work and often have troublesome side effects. Researchers think that massage may interrupt the cycle of distress, offering brief physical and psychological benefits. However, researchers caution that while massage may offer some immediate relief for patients with advanced cancer, the effects do not last over time, demonstrating the need for more effective strategies to manage pain at the end of life.