02 Dec Pain Doctors Help Bring Relief To Lung Cancer Patients
Pain Management of Cancer Pain
For lung cancer patients, the pain is treated a number of ways, and for a number of different causes that include nerve damage, lung infection, lung pain, as well as long standing issues, such as stomach ache or headaches. Pain doctors will create a tailored pain control plan designed to reduce your pain as much as possible.
Treatment of Lung Cancer Pain
Lung cancer patients may get pain relief from analgesics but for some lung cancer patients there may be a need for other treatments to help to control the pain. We mistakenly think the only function of chemotherapy and radiation is to shrink the tumor but they also reduce pain. Surgery can also help to reduce pain by reducing the size of the tumor or in the best cases eliminating it completely.
Analgesics are the most common method of reducing pain in lung cancer patients. These analgesics can be both non-opioid and opioid medications, although the latter is most commonly used as most lung patients have severe pain.
Non-opioid analgesics are used to treat mild to moderate pain, and include NSAIDs. They can help reduce inflammation and they are often prescribed in addition to opioid medications. Acetaminophen can also be used to help reduce pain. Corticosteroids like prednisone or dexamethasone are used for reducing inflammation as well as swelling. They are used when OTC NSAIDs are not strong enough.
Opioids like hydromorphone, morphine, fentanyl and oxycodone are prescribed by pain doctors when pain is moderate to severe. Your pain doctors will access your medication to determine which ones are producing the best results for you and giving you the best pain control. These medications work by inhibiting the pain impulse transmissions. The no ceiling effect means that your pain doctors can accomplish pain relief using high enough dosages. When opioids are used, your pain doctor will always focus on finding the optimal opioid dose where you have pain relief with side effects that you can tolerate and in the best case scenario no side effects.
Pills are preferred for providing opioids to you. However, they can also be administered with intravenous injections that go into the vein, subcutaneous injections that are under the skin, infusions where medicine is constantly supplied to you, suppositories and skin patches.
If you suffer from constant lung cancer pain, your pain doctors will create a pain management plan that provides you with opioids around the clock to control your pain. Initially, your pain doctor will likely use opioids. This is also how they will figure out what the best dosage is to control your pain. Then your pain doctor can switch you to long acting formulas and the short acting pain medications are used as breakthrough medications.
Additional Pain Management Techniques
Other techniques that can help include biofeedback, massage, TENS, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, reflexology, deep breathing, and aromatherapy. Recently, medical marijuana is being used more often. It has fewer long-term side effects and has proven to be very beneficial in pain reduction.
Your pain doctors will focus on keeping you pain free so that you can focus on fighting your cancer.