Getting diagnosed with cancer can be a difficult and overwhelming experience. You may be scared, you may be emotional and on top of all of that, you are in pain.
While you undergo cancer treatment, you will have a lot of doctor’s appointments and medical treatments to go through. You may need to go through one or more surgeries, which will leave you in a lot of pain.
Pain can impact every part of your life, especially when you are already going through everything that cancer brings to your life. It can make it harder for you to sleep or eat. It can impact your mood and make you feel angry, sad or irritable.
This is why pain management is an important part of treatment for cancer patients. It can help you feel better so you can focus on getting better.
Here are some tips so you can tailor your cancer pain treatment to meet your needs:
Figure Out What Kind of Pain You Have
The right pain treatment depends on your specific pain type. Some tumors may be located in a spot that causes pain, like if it is near some nerves or your spinal cord. Other times the tumor may be located in an area that does not cause pain at all.
Since cancer treatments can be hard on the body, you may have pain related to the treatment that you undergo. Radiation and chemotherapy may cause pain or leave you susceptible to illness that causes pain.
If you end up needing to get surgery to remove the tumor, there could be additional pain associated with the postoperative care. Recovering from surgery can be painful and treatment can help you ease that pain.
Figure Out Your Pain Level to Get the Right Treatment Options
Not only do you want to know what is causing your pain, but you also want to know how bad the pain is. This will help your pain management specialists determine what treatment can help to relieve your pain.
For example, mild pain may be treated with non-opioid drugs while more severe pain may require opioids for pain relief. If your pain is related to swelling, you may require steroids. If you are experiencing tingling or burning pains, you might need an antiepileptic drug or an antidepressant.
Your doctor will know the best treatment option based on your symptoms. Here are some possible medications that you might be prescribed based on the different pain types:
Your treatment may also include things other than medication. Talk therapy, relaxation techniques, biofeedback or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation are all options for treating cancer pain. A combination of mediation and other therapies can be effective and help with your overall wellness.
Pain specialists are experts in dealing with pain. After a cancer diagnosis, a pain management specialist can talk you through your options for finding out what is causing your pain and finding the best way to treat it.