News of cancer is devastating enough to cause a lot of mental stress and emotional trauma. Physical pain only adds to the agony. Most of the cancers cause pain, which can affect everything from sleep, appetite to your daily routine.
What Is The Type Of Pain Experienced In Cancer?
Pain can be different for each person. Type of pain usually depends on the type of cancer, its stage and the tolerance level of the person. Most of the people may experience one of these kinds:
It is also called Neuropathic pain. It occurs due to pressure on nerves or spinal cord or by nerve damage. It is experienced as a burning or shooting pain. Sometimes it can be difficult to describe this pain.
When cancer spreads into the bone, it can cause bone pain or somatic pain. It is usually dull or throbbing pain.
Soft Tissue Pain
Pain that arises due to damage of body organ or muscle is called soft tissue pain or Visceral pain. It is difficult to pinpoint this pain and it is usually sharp, cramping or throbbing.
When pain arises from the part of the body that has been removed is called phantom pain. Pain in the breast area after removal of the breast is an example of phantom pain.
The pain from an organ, which is felt in a different part of the body is called Referred pain. For example, you may feel pain in the right shoulder due to swelling in the liver. This happens because the liver presses on nerves which end in the shoulder.
Is There A Cure For Cancer Pain?
Pain should never be accepted as a normal part of having cancer. Always remember that any kind of pain can be treated or managed. You may not get complete relief from pain associated with cancer, but your doctor can find out ways to control and reduce it as much as possible. The person suffering from cancer can only tell how much pain they are having. Therefore, it is very important to talk to your health care team about your pain because it is easier to treat the pain when it first starts.
What Is The Treatment For Cancer Pain?
It includes a wide variety of procedures depending upon the type of cancer. First option is to remove the cancerous growth through surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
If that is not possible, pain medications are used, which can include:
- Over-the-counter and prescription pain relieving drugs like aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
- Weak opioid drugs, such as codeine.
- Strong opioid medications like Morphine, Oxycodone, Hydromorphone, Methadone etc.
These pain relieving medications can be given as:
- Tablets or liquids to swallow.
- Mouth dissolving tablets.
- Rectal suppositories.
- Skin patch.
Some other medications to treat cancer pain are anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants and steroids.
If the pain is severe and unbearable, a local anesthetic drug can be injected to give a nerve block. It blocks the pain pathway along that nerve.
Other therapies like acupressure, massage, acupuncture, relaxation, physical therapy, hypnosis and meditation may also help.
Contact The Pain Center to discuss treatment by filling out our contact form or calling (208) 342-9800!