A NEWPORT woman has won a national award for her research into reflexology for breast cancer patients.

Sally Kay, 51, from Rogerstone, has received an excellence in practice award from the Federation of Holistic Therapists.

She was presented with the award at a ceremony in London on October 5 during breast cancer awareness month.

The award was presented to Ms Kay for the reflexology technique she developed to help patients affected by lymphoedema.

This is a form of tissue swelling and can be a swollen arm, painful shoulder or uncomfortable underarm swelling and can occur following treatment for breast cancer.

Mrs Kay carried out the research while working at Hospice of the Valleys' cancer care drop-in clinics in Blaenau Gwent.

Patients were able to receive complimentary therapies to help relieve anxiety and other side effects of cancer and treatment.

Mrs Kay became interested in holistic therapy in 2004 and decided to go back to full time education through a course at Coleg Gwent 27 years after leaving school.

She then went on to graduate from Cardiff Metropolitan University last year.

Mrs Kay presented her research on the reflexology technique for lymphoedema at a conference earlier this year and is now planning to carry out further research.

She said: "I hope in the long term to find more evidence to support the benefits of reflexology and help with the management of secondary lymphoedema. It can be debilitating and there is currently no cure and with an increase in breast cancer diagnosis and improved survival rates, more people are living with lymphoedema."