Although a spa seems like the perfect place for someone recovering from serious illness, most are very wary of taking bookings from people who have been treated for cancer. Thankfully a handful have changed their approach, says Joanna Moorhead

What you need, said my friends as I made my first tentative steps back on to dry land after the stormy seas of cancer treatment, is a break. They were right: and where more appropriate than a spa, an undemanding short holiday with health at its centre? A day of pampering and massages was exactly what the doctor ordered.

But there was a catch. I am the veteran of many spa trips, and on every previous occasion I have breezily ticked a “no” in that tedious questionnaire that precedes your treatment. Recent operations? None. On medication? No. Any history of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy or allergies? No, no, no, no and no.

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