Let LA Pain Specialist help you effectively treat Cancer Pain.
One of the unfortunate things about cancer and cancer treatment is the pain the patient experiences. Cancer causes pain when it destroys or grows into tissues with nerves. Pain from cancer has been characterized in many ways:
- It can be sharp, achy, dull, or burning
- It can come and go or be constant
- It ranges from mild to severe
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Causes of Cancer Pain
This pain may originate from the area of the body where the tumor is growing. A forming tumor may also release chemicals that seep into the tissues around it, causing additional pain. Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery—all treatments for cancer—are also known to cause pain for the cancer patient. Radiation can cause pain from burned tissues. Chemotherapy has its own side effects, including mouth sores and damage to sensitive nerves, especially in the hands and feet.
Types of Cancer Pain
The type of pain a cancer patient experiences can be categorized into three types. The first is called acute pain. This kind of pain has a rapid onset that doesn’t last long. Chronic pain is usually mild to intense type of pain that will come and go over a long period of time. And breakthrough pain occurs due to the pain medications you’re already taking.
Treatment of Cancer Pain
There are many ways your doctor might treat your pain. For mild, occasional pain, you might be told to take over-the-counter medications. If you need something stronger, you might be prescribed a weak opiate-related medication like codeine. And for severe, persistent pain, your doctor might give you stronger medicines like morphine or oxycodone. You should follow your doctor’s instructions and take the medicine only as prescribed. Once you no longer need the medication, your doctor will gradually reduce your dosage to eliminate the chance of withdrawal symptoms.
If you’re having nausea and vomiting, some pain medications can be given sublingually, meaning dissolved under the tongue, or you might be given a patch to wear on the skin. You might also be given pain medication through an IV or inserted in your rectum.
Other types of treatment can also help your pain. Acupuncture, massage, and physical therapy have all been shown to help patients experiencing cancer pain. Meditation and self-guided hypnosis may also be beneficial. Heat and cold therapy might also help manage all types of pain.
Pain is a fact of life for cancer patients. But there are ways to effectively manage pain caused by cancer and the treatment of cancer. Many of these options provide excellent short-term pain management when properly used. If you’re experiencing cancer pain, be sure to talk to your doctor. There’s no reason to suffer in silence.