Wellness for Cancer Initiative

2019 Trends

Building upon the progress made the past three years, The Wellness For Cancer Global Wellness Institute Initiative predicts that wellness will continue to become more accessible and tailored to all guests, including individuals at risk of or touched by cancer. Leading this integrative lens are wellness hotel and destination brands and preeminent skin-care brands that are integrating cancer awareness as a strategic customer service initiative that is embedded within their overall business and operational strategies, including customer touch points (e.g., spa and wellness service and programs, food and beverage), product/service development, and community outreach.

TREND 1: Spa and Wellness Industry becomes serious about being Cancer Aware by establishing minimum education standards

As the spa and wellness industry continues to have more open conversations about being cancer aware, global training standards will emerge as currently the entry level of therapist training varies significantly. Cancer treatments affect all systems of the body, and the ability to tailor a massage or beauty treatment rest on the foundational knowledge of a therapist and not on a one set protocol that purports to be appropriate for every body.

TREND 2: Beauty not only moves to being clean but also into being Cancer Aware

With shifting statistics of 1 in 2 individuals being diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime and the consumer push toward being clean to avoid cancer-causing ingredients, skin-care brands recognize the need to study and communicate which of their products can safely be used by clients whose skin has been impacted by cancer treatments and whose skin health is comprised of various skin types all at the same time.

While testing of skin-care ingredients and the impact on people in cancer treatment is poor and virtually nonexistent, brands will test their products with clients to ensure to the best they can that clients won’t have skin reactions to their products at a time where there is little tolerance by the client for additional adverse skin reactions.

TREND 3: Wellness Brands apply principles of healthy living to people touched by cancer

Leading wellness brands will adapt principles of breathwork, meditation, focused attention exercises, yoga asana, exercise and plant-based diets to people touched by cancer to support healthy living, resiliency, and the way in which the mind and body functions to express themselves. Additionally, brain health exercises that can be applied to all aging individuals have been shown to improve cognitive function in cancer survivors with respect to attention, brain speed and memory, resulting in less anxiety, depression and fatigue.

TREND 4: Sleep programs will address circadian rhythms from cancer prevention through cancer treatment and into survivorship

While the wellness industry is deploying a spectrum of sleep programs, the importance of circadian rhythms can be extended from cancer prevention, through cancer treatment and into survivorship. With disrupted circadian rhythms linked to cancer biology of several cancers (e.g., breast, prostate and colorectal cancers),  insomnia affecting up to 80 percent of individuals with cancer, and sleep disturbances reported to last up to 10 years post cancer treatment, the importance of helping guests explore ways to improve their sleep is vital.

TREND 5: Menopause programs assist women with lifestyle changes for cancer prevention, through cancer treatment and to prevent the risk of recurrence

Newly launched menopause programs help individuals manage symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood disturbances, sleep, skin health and psychological issues associated with the process of menopause.

These programs can also address the nutritional and physical aspects of functional aging, which include the increased risk of breast cancer after menopause. While menopause itself doesn’t increase breast cancer risk, an aging body does.

The culprit—estrogen—with 80 percent of breast cancers in post-menopausal women fueled by estrogen. While certain types of estrogen decrease during menopause, the body continues to produce it in later years with most of it coming from adipose fat cells and adrenal glands. Weight gain during menopause is a risk factor for post-menopausal cancer since more fat cells mean more estrogen. And this type of fat also increases inflammation in the body, which is also linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

Additionally, menopause programs can be adapted to the many young women who are thrown into medically induced menopause from their cancer treatments.