How to Handle Cancer Pain: All You Need to Know


June 17, 2021

Cancer pain is often constant. This means that people with cancer pain often have a difficult time keeping to their normal routine. However, not every cancer patient experiences pain. This is based on the fact that cancer pain often depends on how cancer has spread and the form it has taken. In other words, your chances of having cancer pain are high if cancer has spread, recurred, or it is severe.

That being said, you can achieve relief of cancer pain through pain management. In other words, controlling your pain as part of the treatment process is an imperative undertaking to help improve your quality of life.

Here is a brief elucidation of how you can manage your cancer pain.

What Causes Cancer Pain?

Cancer pain is often a manifestation of cancer itself. The pain arises as cancer grows, and at times, it indicates the type of cancer you have and how advanced it is. Put briefly, the growth of a tumor causes the release of chemicals that lead to cancer pain. 

However, other cancer pain may arise after being subjected to treatment options such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

Which factors influence the treatment choice for cancer pain?

For pain relief, you need to be aware of certain factors which influence your pain. In fact, you need to report it to your physician so that they can keep track of your pain.

The following are some of the factors which influence your pain and also the choice of medication for treating your cancer pain: 

  • The severity of the pain
  • Current medications
  • The type of pain- achy, dull.
  • The activities which accelerate the pain
  • The location of the pain

Which medications are provided for cancer pain relief?

The type of medication used to provide pain relief varies from person to person. This is because some people respond to certain medications quicker than others. 

That being said, the following are some of the medications used:

Opioids: These are medical prescriptions used to treat moderate to severe pain. They include codeine and morphine. Although they have side effects such as vomiting and nausea, opioids are effective in pain relief for cancer patients.

Over-the-Counter Pain relievers: These pain relievers are generally helpful for different levels of pain. They don’t necessarily require prescriptions but are effective for bone pain and pain caused by inflammation. They include aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.

Paracetamol: This is very helpful in relieving bone pain and also reducing fever. Therefore, it is vital in controlling cancer pain for cancer patients.

How can you handle cancer-pain-relieving medication?

Cancer pain is often debilitating. Therefore, the sooner you take the prescribed doses, the higher your chances of getting pain relief. Also, the risk of side effects can be reduced.

Some of the best practices to incorporate include:

Understanding your medication: this denotes understanding the overall effect of the medicine- how it works and the response you get after taking it. In addition, you also need to note the side effects, if any.

Take your medications regularly: following your doctor’s advice is imperative in order to attain pain relief.

Avoid missing your dosage: missing your medications may generally affect how you recover. Therefore, it would be best to ensure you avoid missing a dose at all costs.

Ensure you have sufficient medication on hand: this helps you avoid being short on medication. 

Visit your doctor regularly: making those visits can help have your medication reviewed. In such cases, your doctor may recommend an increase or a decrease in dosages.

Helpful techniques for cancer pain management

Physical and medical relaxation can help in pain management. Some of the helpful therapies to incorporate include:

Hypnotherapy: This is a therapy that utilizes imagery to induce a dreamy, relaxed state of mind. It helps ease the side effects of cancer treatment.

Meditation: clearing your mind is an impressive undertaking. This is because it brings about calmness and a feeling of awareness-thus improving your overall health.

Breathing and relaxation: such techniques can help reduce stress and also soothe the nervous system.

There are also other pain management techniques to ease chronic pain. They include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy

What Next?

Cancer is a debilitating condition. With the additional pain, your lifestyle may make drastic changes that are not always appealing. Therefore, it is imperative to seek pain relief and also incorporate pain management strategies into your life.

Contact SEPSC today if you or your loved one is experiencing cancer pain. We will help you.