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Between juggling doctor’s visits, hospital bills, and facing the emotional and physical challenges of an often life-threatening diagnosis, cancer patients aren’t always able to squeeze in a pricey visit to the spa – even though they are the ones who could benefit most from a stress-relieving massage or pampering manicure. To make life with cancer a little easier (and earn some good karma), a few spas offer patients free or reduced services, plus host special programs and events.

Thousand Waves Spa for Women: Since 1991, the Stress Management Program at Chicago’s Thousand Waves Spa for Women in has been offering free services to women who are dealing with cancer diagnoses. Women who have been recently diagnosed, are currently in treatment, or have finished treatment within the past year are welcome to five free hour-long massages and, if permitted by their doctors, five free visits to the spa’s bath facilities. The spa visits may also be used by a female companion during the massage treatment. The Thousand Wave Spa includes a sauna, eucalyptus steamroom, and hot tub as well as complimentary amenities such as sandals, bath products, and herbal tea in the relaxation room. These services are offered on Tuesday and Wednesday nights; call ahead to reserve, as spots fill up quickly. 1212 W Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL, 60657; 773-549-0700

SK Sanctuary / SK Sanctuary
SK Sanctuary: On the last Tuesday of every month, SK Sanctuary day spa opens its doors for Breast Cancer Spa Night. From 4pm to 8pm, SK Sanctuary invites cancer patients and survivors to listen to a guest speaker or two, who range from doctors and scientists discussing new treatment options to men and women who have been affected by breast cancer. Guests munch on free snacks at the juice bar and take advantage of complimentary spa services. Services may include massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures; it depends on what a majority of the attendees have requested beforehand. SK Sanctuary requires a doctor’s note for spa services, because heat should be avoided during some stages of treatment. Space is limited to 35, so call ahead to reserve a spot. 6919 La Jolla Boulevard, La Jolla, CA; 858-459-2400

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