Why is Cancer Pain Management Often Ignored?
When fighting cancer one of the key techniques is to minimize the pain while focussing on the
cancer treatments. But one of the disturbing facts is that the area of treatment is often not
addressed as well as it should be. Controlling pain is an essential component of cancer care
according to the American Cancer Society.
Some doctors do not have intensive pain treatment training and therefore may not be aware of all
of the options you could receive from a pain treatment clinic where the physicians focus on the
pain as well as the disease. Or perhaps your doctor is so focussed on the treatment for cancer,
they do not consider the pain aspect, too.
Many cancer patients are reluctant to discuss the pain they are experiencing for a variety of
reasons. They may not want to waste time discussing pain with their doctor because they are
focussing on the treatment for cancer. Some patients minimize the pain they are feeling. They do
not want to be seen as someone who is not strong enough to bear the pain. They also might
associate the increase of pain as an increase in cancer as well. Other patients have a difficult time
paying for the cancer treatments and cannot afford medication for pain treatments.
To effectively control your pain, you need a way of describing your mild to moderate pain. Try
using a 10 point scale in which 0 is no pain, 5 is tolerable pain, and 10 is extreme pain. This
should help describe your pain level to your doctor. It is important to realize that everyone’s
tolerance to pain is individual. Remember that it is your right to ask for pain treatment.
Possibility of Addiction
There is a lot of media attention on the present opioid addiction problem. What cancer patients
need to realize is that they are not likely to develop an addiction to prescription pain medication,
unless they are currently suffering from another addiction such as alcoholism or smoking.
There is also a difference in developing a tolerance for a drug and becoming addicted. This is
confusing for patients as in both cases there is an increase in the frequency or strength of the
drug. But the difference is in the purpose for the increase. People who are becoming addicted to
a drug require more of it because they enjoy the feeling that happens when they are using the
drug. But if you use the same medication for treating pain, you are enjoying the benefits of less
pain. When your pain subsides during the healing process so will your need for the drug.
Some side effects of these drugs that treat cancer pain make people feel sleepy, not fully aware
or not thinking straight. Usually, patients have these side effects when the dosage is not right for
them. You need to work with your doctor to achieve the level of the drug to dull your pain but
still leaving you feeling as close to normal as possible.
The Best Cancer Pain Management Strategies
Know that almost all types of pain can be controlled or alleviated through careful treatment
methods. Even with advanced cancer, there are methods to relieve painful symptoms. Your pain
doctor in New York or pain doctor in New Jersey at the pain treatment clinic has many options
from which to choose. The first step is to determine the source of your pain. And then a
personalized treatment program can begin. Your care will depend on many factors such as the
stage of your cancer, what medications you have tried to relieve your pain, and the length of time
you have been battling pain and its severity.
The Cancer Itself
Sometimes the cancer is disrupting normal tissue by growing into the cells or by destroying your
cells. Sometimes the cancer presses on your nerves causing pain. Chemicals that have been
released by a tumor also cause pain. It is possible to remove the source of the pain by a
combination of various methods: surgery, chemotherapy radiation or other options. By removing
the cancerous growth, the long-term outcome will be a reduction in pain
From the Treatment Procedure
But the treatments themselves can be painful or cause painful side effects. You may be suffering
Numbness or pain in your body parts that are not part of your core such as feet, fingers,
legs, hands, arms
Irregular digestive disturbances from constipation to diarrhea, to nausea, to cramps
Bone and joint pain
Listed below are some non-surgical but also some medication pain management strategies options:
Oral Prescription for Pain Medication: You may be taking over the counter
prescriptions, but if they are ineffective there are stronger medications available. You will
be able to start with a milder form of pain relief and progress to a stronger one if needed.
Other Medications: Some people find relief with antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and
steroids. Your well-trained pain doctor in NY or pain doctor in NJ will assess your
condition and make suggestions to suit your needs.
Nerve Blocks: Once the location of the pain is determined, an injection of a localized
nerve numbing medicine can block the nerve from sending the pain signal to your brain
Pump Implant: The pump is programmed to release medication to the area of the pain
slowly. Just after the surgery for implanting the pump, you will experience some
discomfort. Gradually over a six week period, you will be able to engage in some
physical activities. There is also an option for the patient to respond immediately to pain
through a hand pump device.
Therapies: Acupuncture, massage, physical, and more treatments have all helped cancer
patients stay positive while they are battling cancer.
People fighting cancer have the right to manage their pain. A pain doctor from a pain
treatment clinic has many options to suit your condition and lifestyle.
It is unlikely that cancer patients will become addicted to oral pain medication unless
there are complicating factors.
There are many other treatments besides opioids to manage pain.
Proper cancer pain management is an integral part of battling the disease.