Frequently Asked Questions

Oncology Trained Certification

Will I be Certified after taking your class?

Currently there is no national or state-sanctioned certification for Oncology Esthetics (or Oncology Massage) in the US or any other country. There are some individual institutions and unregulated organizations that offer comprehensive programs that award a certification upon completion. An Esthetician or Spa therapist may claim to be “certified in oncology esthetics” by a designated organization (see details in next question below) upon graduation from the prescribed course offered by that organization. However, as explained below, it is not appropriate to simply claim to be “certified in oncology esthetics”.

Then why do some training courses offer Certification?

Some professional organizations offer certification to their practitioners. In this way organizations aim to reassure the public of an individual’s qualifications and suitability to practice a particular modality or specialty. The value of certification is dependent on the reputation of the certifying organization and the rigor of the training and evaluation it requires for certification.

What does Certification require?

In order for an educator or organization to offer Certification for an oncology esthetics (or massage) certification program it will have to include extensive coursework, practical experience under supervision and a series of examinations. Upon successful completion, a “certificate of achievement in oncology esthetics” would be awarded to attest that the Esthetician/Spa professional has been fully and carefully evaluated by instructors and administrators. This certification is then renewed periodically, typically after completing specified hours and content of continuing education, often including supervision and other supervised, practical experience. Currently, in our industry, that is not available. (Oncology Spa Solutions® agrees with S4OM and has adopted this stance based on the S4OM statement on Certificates: http://www.s4om.org/position-papers/item/position-paper).

The Certificate you will be awarded will be a “Certificate of Completion” that will allow you to say that you are “Oncology Trained”. That keeps us aligned with the current standards and in good standing with our state boards. So, once training is completed you may say: Example: Sue Smith, Licensed Esthetician, (you must use what is on your state issued license) followed by “Oncology Trained”. There is special LOGO that you can also use for your website, business cards, spa menu etc.

What does “Oncology-trained” mean?

Oncology-trained means that you have attended a min. 24 hr specialized training to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to work with someone who has cancer. When done you will need to know the following: effects of cancer on the body and the mind, the side effects of surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy and modifications for treatment based on each clients’ specific needs. Modifications that include but not limited to positioning on the bed, when/where to prop, when to adjust pressure, direction and speed. Safe product and equipment choices and how to care for typical skin conditions. When to/not to treat and understanding: neutropenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, neuropathy, metastasis, dermal toxicity, existing or risk of lymphedema, existing or risk of blood clots, compromised organ function, medication and anti-cancer drug agents/side-effects and fragile or unstable tissues, scar treatments, palliative and end-of-life care.