Cancer pain can be debilitating. If you or your loved one has cancer and do not want surgery, you can manage the chronic pain. Cancer pain can be burning, sharp, dull, mild, intermittent, constant, severe, or moderate.
The pain you feel depends on your type of cancer, its location, how advanced, and your pain tolerance level. You may also feel worse if you are depressed or anxious, so your state of mind counts.
Here are some facts about cancer pain management you should know:
1. Pain in Most Cancer Patients is Manageable
Combinations of oral medication can control severe cancer pain. The pain medication works better when taken regularly before the pain gets worse. Treat the pain when it starts, then keep a regular schedule of the pain medication. If the source of pain is treatable with other alternative methods, there will be no need to take the pain medication.
2. Controlling Pain Improves the Quality of Life
Pain from cancer is exhausting and keeps you from doing things you need to. It is not always possible to relieve cancer pain, but it is possible to make it less severe. Even when you take around-the-clock pain medication, some pain may break through your regular doses. It calls for another pain medication that you can take in between your regular pain dosage. Sometimes it takes two pain medications to control cancer pain.
3. Controlling Pain is Part of Cancer Treatment
Discussing pain is part of the overall cancer treatment. Talk to your doctor about what is more effective for the pain and what is not. Sometimes cancer plus treatment may cause pain. Explaining your type of pain to the doctor makes it easier to understand how cancer and its treatment affect you.
4. You Won’t Get Addicted to Medication
Most people taking pain medication fear getting addicted. Unfortunately, even family members may encourage the cancer patient to wait as long as possible between their doses. When you use narcotics like Morphine for pain control, they do not cause addictions.
You do not get high from cancer pain medication. Some of the medication may make you feel intoxicated or sleepy, which will fade off within a few days. If you feel confused, talk to the doctor, who will either change the medication or dosage.
5. Cancer Pain Medication Side Effects are Manageable
Some medications for controlling cancer pain can cause side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, or constipation. Your doctor will help in managing these side effects, which typically go away after a few days. The side effect management is by either changing the medication, the dosage, or the time you take your medicine.
When your pain persists, you may feel:
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