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25 Nov 2022

CIDESCO International and Wellness for Cancer create Oncology Wellness Diploma
BY Megan Whitby

CIDESCO and Wellness for Cancer first came together to create the curriculum in 2019 but the launch was delayed by the pandemic

CIDESCO and Wellness for Cancer first came together to create the curriculum in 2019 but the launch was delayed by the pandemic
photo: Shutterstock/Dasha Petrenko

Leading spa and beauty organisation CIDESCO International has partnered with cancer education charity Wellness for Cancer to launch a new global qualification.

The two organisations believe the best way to advance the spa and beauty profession and its role in oncology wellness is through therapist awareness, education, and individual growth.

Comprising 15 modules, the diploma will be offered in CIDESCO’s accredited 350 global training locations in early 2023. The diploma is being designed to unite the medical world of oncology with the world of wellness and beauty therapy.

The training is based on the belief that nurses, medical staff, beauty and spa therapists and community partners can all help to support an individual touched by cancer in moving toward an improved level of health and wellbeing.

To devise the diploma, Wellness for Cancer created a Medical and Wellness Scientific Committee composed of oncologists, dermatologists, physical therapists, lymphedema specialists, beauty therapists and patient support.

“We elected to introduce this qualification in a diploma format as it provides therapists with time to build the foundational skills necessary in the changing landscape,” explained Pamela Adkins and Vicky Harper, CIDESCO education board directors.

“These skills will be able to be applied to a variety of additional situations, medical conditions and across beauty therapist modalities.”

The diploma is being designed to go one step further than other cancer wellness education. For example, it will recognise that some skin health side-effects from cancer therapies can negatively affect adherence to treatment and quality of life. Fortunately, due to the thorough acquired knowledge of the qualification, the beauty therapist has the ability to prevent many of these effects.

The Medical and Scientific Wellness Committee has added elements of healthcare into the curriculum.

For example, the diploma will equip therapists with a greater understanding of the kinds of medical quality of life assessments clients may be undergoing, as well as give them a more extensive knowledge of health literacy to help them better communicate with their clients. Other modules will include an exploration of the social determinants of health as well as cultural sensitivity relating to oncology wellness care.

“The critical skill when working with individuals touched by cancer is taking information and critically thinking or translating it into adaptations based on the therapist’s training, skillsets and scope of practice,” said Julie Bach, founder of Wellness for Cancer.

“This approach honours the uniqueness of the therapist and respects the individuality of the client while providing a disciplined and consistent approach.”



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