April 14, 2021
Living with Cancer Pain & Remaining Positive
Every person diagnosed with cancer has pain at some point, and the type and stage of cancer can determine the extent of the pain. A lot of the time you’re dealing with the pain at home, so there may not be any fast acting intravenous (IV) medication to give you. But there are ways that you can relieve your pain. So let’s get into what you can do to live the best life that you can.
What Makes It Hurt?
Cancer pain can be dull or achy, sharp or a burning feeling, or, it can be mild to moderate, severe, constant or intermittent, it just depends on certain factors.
Pain can come from a growing tumor, or cancer growing into nearby tissue or destroying nearby tissue. If the pain is from a tumor, it can press on the organs, the bones or the nerves causing the pain and discomfort. There is also the release of chemicals from the tumor that may cause pain and the body’s reaction to those chemicals.
In certain situations pain is inevitable, and cancer treatment can help relieve that pain. However, treatment may cause some pain as well, inclusive of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
Managing Your Pain At Home?
Once you understand your diagnosis and medications you’ll be in a better mental space to move forward more positively, you must remember to keep a strong mind and that the pain is manageable. Here are some types of medications prescribed to manage pain at home:
- OTC drugs (Tylenol, Motrin, aspirin)
- Opioid medications
- Anti-seizure drugs
How Is Cancer Pain Treated?
There are multiple ways to treat cancer pain, including chemo, radiation and therapy. There are also specialized treatments like nerve blocks to prevent the pain messages from getting to the nerve. You can also have acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, acupressure, meditation and hypnosis, it may help.
BrioMD an help you get through rough times through pain management. Our specialists focus on interventional pain procedures, more advanced therapies and supporting medications to help in the management of your pain.
Why Wouldn’t A Patient Receive Proper Pain Treatment?
Cancer pain is not treated properly a lot of the time due to a variety of different factors including:
- Sometimes doctors don’t ask the right questions about your pain level. If they don’t know your true pain level, then you’re not receiving the best pain management practices.
- If you’re taking opioids, following your doctor’s instructions and maintaining a close relationship is essential.
- Sometimes people are hesitant to tell their doctors the extent of their pain for their own reasons, however, this prevents you from receiving the proper care.
- Some people are afraid of becoming addicted to the medication.
- Some people are fearful of side effects and so will not take the medication.
Helping Your Doctor Understand Your Pain Level
Here are a few things you can do to help your doctor understand the level of pain you are experiencing:
- Tell your doctor the level of your pain. If it’s a 10, say it.
- Explain the type of pain you feel (achy, dull ache, stabbing etc.)
- Let the doctor know exactly where the pain is located.
- What are you doing when the pain starts?
- Is there anything that you do that makes it better or worse?
- Let your doctor know what you have been doing to manage the pain yourself?
How You Can Get the Right Treatment For Cancer Pain
Watch a short video here to see what to expect at your first appointment. Be ready to work with our specialists to put together an individual pain management plan for you.
You and your doctor can set a goal for pain / medication management and monitor the success of the treatment. Your doctor should track the pain with a pain scale, assessing how strong it is. The goal should be to keep you comfortable. If you aren’t comfortable, talk to your doctor.
Lastly, take a look at our blog over here. See you soon, and we look forward to helping you live the best life that you can with minimal cancer pain.