How To Manage Cancer Pain

how to manage cancer pain

8 Alternative Therapies For Cancer

How to manage cancer pain is a topic very dear to my heart. About 20 years ago, I saw the pain, my friend, Mariam went through as she battled with breast cancer until she finally gave up. It was just too unbearable to watch her agony and kept asking the doctors if anything could be done to ease the pain. Nothing much could be done at that time, at least, that was my impression.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I came across some information on how to manage cancer pain. Simply, it means that cancer pain can be controlled in almost every case. This doesn’t mean that you have no pain, but it stays at a level that you can bear.

how to manage cancer pain

Cancer and its treatments can be painful, that we all know. A tumor that presses on bones, nerves, or organs can cause pain. Surgery for cancer can cause pain. So can chemotherapy and radiation.

There are a number of ways to control each of these kinds of pain. The pain sufferer is the only person who can say precisely how much pain he or she is experiencing, or if specific pain medicine is effective in depressing pain.

What Your Doctor Need To Know

The more specific you can be about your pain, the more your doctor will be able to treat it. It often helps to write everything down. Information you give your doctor should include: when your pain began, how it feels and for how long. If there are any changes in your pain – if it is persistent or occasional.

What makes your pain better or worse. You should be able to describe the pain. For instance, is the pain burning, sharp, arching or dull or dull. Also, be able to point to the precise area of the pain. Does the pain come from one area of many areas, or the pain goes from one area to another?

how to manage cancer pain

How To Manage Cancer Pain


Of course, pain management often begins with medicine. Several drugs are used to get relief from pain. So adjusting the medicine as the pain changes are crucial. Your doctor may also recommend various drugs, a mixture of drugs, or higher doses.

If medication is the option, your doctor may prescribe stronger drugs to relieve burning and tingling pain and swelling. For very bad pain, nerve blocks are injected right into the nerve that affects the painful site, providing short-term pain relief by blocking the nerve from releasing pain signals. Other medicines include OTC drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen.


Another way to relieve pain is to take out or destroy all or part of the turmour causing pain. Chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery is applied to this.

how to manage pain control

Alternative therapy

There are many other ways to control cancer pain such as treatments that help you cope better with pain including relaxation exercises, biofeedback, massage bandages or props. Heat or cold application may also boost pain coping abilities.

Other alternative treatments many people apply are acupuncture, aromatherapy, healing touch, and prayer.

Make A List Of Pain Treatment

A journal will consist of a listing of your pain treatment and how this aided pain relief or didn’t assist. You can jot down what was used for each treatment, how it worked including any side effects from usage. Penciling it down makes it easier for your doctor to know precisely how effective your treatment is working.

If You Need Pain Relief, Ask For It

There are some pain medicines that tune your body to keep expecting the medicine if used for a week or longer. This is called a drug dependency and is not the same as addiction.  Addiction is a behavioral disorder whereby a person has developed a craving for the drug which may not even be linked to the level of pain.

Don’t let the fear of addiction get in the way of using medication to relieve pain. If you need pain relief, ask for it. It’s easier to control pain when you stop it early. If you wait until your pain is bad, it’s then more difficult to manage.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons.

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