Most of the patients with advanced cancer experience significant pain at any stage of the disease. Up to 60 % of all patients also experience cancer pain. In order to maintain or improve the quality of life, it’s important to well –manage the pain. There are many different choices for cancer pain management which relies on the exact cause of your pain.
Causes of pain:
There could be number of causes for cancer pain. Possible causes of cancer pain are;
Pain from the tumor; most of the cancer pain occurs when a tumor presses on bone, nerves or organs. The pain may vary in every person according to location of the pain. For example, a small tumor near a nerve or the spinal cord may be very painful, while a larger tumor elsewhere may not cause discomfort.
Treatment-related pain; chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery can also cause pain as they are very dangerous or painful procedures. And if your immune system is weak then you’re more likely to develop certain painful conditions which are often a result of the painful therapies used to treat cancer.
Post-operative pain; relieving pain resulting from surgery helps people recuperate more quickly and heal more effectively.
How to manage cancer pain?
- Non-opioids medications are best for mild to moderate cancer pain management. Examples of these medicines are acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin and ibuprofen. Most non-opioids can be purchased without a prescription.
- Opioids can used for moderate to severe pain Examples are morphine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, fentanyl and methadone.
- Antidepressants can be use for the cancer pain management if the pain type is tingling or burning.
- If the pain is caused by swelling than steroids can use.
Also there are non-drugs treatments for cancer pain management. These treatments will help your medicines work better and relieve other symptoms.
- Breathing and relaxation exercises; focus the patient’s attention on performing a specific task, instead of concentrating on the pain.
- Massage; physical stimulation of muscles can help in the relaxation and relieve painful muscle spasms or contractions.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS); in this technique mild electric current is applied to the skin at the site of the pain.
- Heat or cold; ice packs or heating pads can also use as an option of cancer pain management.
Zaki Anwar MD is an Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist. He has great expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, sciatica pain, cancer pain and various pain conditions. His center has offering various treatment options including stem cell therapy, amniotic fluid injection and much more.
For further queries call on 815.412.6166