18 Oct Cancer Pain – Pain Clinic Offers Relief
Cancer pain is not something everyone with cancer faces but 1 out of 3 cancer patients undergoing treatment will experience pain. Cancer pain is more common in advanced cancers and cancers that have spread or recurred.
Cancer pain can be achy, sharp or dull. It can occur intermittently or constantly. It can be range from mild to severe. A pain clinic can help you get the relief you should.
What Causes Your Cancer Pain?
The cancer pain can be the result of the cancer growing into tissue near the cancer or destroying tissue in the area. It can come from where your cancer started, called the primary cancer, or it can come from where the cancer has spread, called metastases. As the cancer tumor grows, it can cause pressure on bones, organs, or nerves that cause pain.
Cancer treatments including radiation, chemotherapy and surgery can also be the source of cancer pain. Chemotherapy can cause a number of potential painful side effects including nerve damage, diarrhea, and mouth sores. Radiation can cause painful scars or a burning sensation. Surgery can be painful and it can take time for you to recover.
Pain Clinic Uses Pain Medications
There are numerous ways for cancer pain to be treated. If the source of the pain can be removed, that’s the ideal solution. That’s not always possible. There are many medications that can be used alone or in combination.
Your doctor will always try with the weakest medications first. This includes acetaminophen, aspirin and ibuprofen. If these do not provide relief, mild opioids such as codeine can be prescribed. However, with cancer many times more is needed so strong opiod medicines are used and include:
• Morphine – Ms Contin, Avinza, etc.
• Oxycodone – Roxicodone, OxyContin, etc.
• Hydromorphone – Exalgo, Dilaudid, etc.
• Fentanyl – Fentora, Actiq, etc.
• Methadone – Methadose, Dolophine, etc.
These oral drugs are easy to take. Medications can be tablets to swallow or quick dissolve. You may not be able to tolerate tablets or you doctor may want to get medication into you quicker so injections, intravenous, or rectal can be used. Patches to the skin can also be used.
Pain Clinic Use Specialized Treatments
Sometimes the medications work fine on their own but sometimes there is still pain so more must be done, and still other times specialized treatments are used rather than pain medications. These specialized treatments include:
• Nerve blocks – A local anesthetic is injected into or around the nerve, which stops the pain messages from reaching the brain.
• Massage therapy
• Physical therapy
The pain clinic has doctors, nurses and other medical staff that have specialized training in pain management. They want nothing else for you than to eliminate or at least reduce your pain. Pain treatments can have side effects but your team of pain management specialists will try to minimize these side effects.
You should not try to push through your pain. You have enough on your plate, fighting your cancer and winning your battle. Pain should not be on your radar, especially since a pain clinic has the tools to treat your pain, but it all begins with you telling your doctor you are experiencing pain. Don’t keep it to yourself!