4 Treatments that Can Relieve Cancer Pain

When you have cancer, you’re determined to focus your energy on getting healthy and on appreciating every precious minute of every day. If you have pain or discomfort, you may think that it’s not as important as treating the cancer itself, so you just ignore it or choose not to “bother” your oncologist with your symptoms. But chronic and acute pain adds to your burden of stress and deserves to be relieved.

The pain specialists at Metro Denver Pain Management (MDPain) in Greenwood Village, and Parker Colorado, can design a pain-relief program that’s right for your kind of cancer pain as well as your particular types of discomfort. The first step is reporting your pain so that we can help you manage or even eliminate it.

Pain shouldn’t be expected

Not everyone who has cancer has pain, so if you’re uncomfortable, don’t think that it’s just part of your disease and that you have to tolerate it. You might experience pain that’s either related to your disease or that may occur through an injury or as a side effect of your treatments. The kinds of pain symptoms that are typical when you have cancer include:

Symptoms such as pain, tingling, or weakness in your arms and legs or severe neck pain could be a sign that a tumor has spread to your spine. Contact your doctor immediately, because this is considered an emergency situation. Some of the symptoms of cancer pain are treated with surgery or radiation to remove the tumor, but others can be treated with medications.

You may be reluctant to take strong painkillers because you’re afraid you’ll become addicted. However, the chance of getting addicted to painkillers when you really need them to control pain is low.

Working with our doctors and taking the medications as prescribed ensures that you’ll get the right dose to alleviate your pain, and then get a realistic schedule for gradually stopping the medication once your pain is under control. Be sure to let your doctor know if you or a family member has an addiction problem.

In addition to pain medications, we may prescribe antidepressants, anticonvulsants, or steroids. These types of medications can alleviate conditions, such as inflammation, that contribute to your pain.

Oral medications

If you have mild discomfort or pain, you may be able to control it just by using over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or cannibinoidiol (CBD oil). We can also prescribe a weak opioid, such as codeine or tramadol, or stronger opioids, such as fentanyl and methadone. You can choose from a variety of delivery methods, including:

We work with you to find the type of delivery system and pain reliever that works best for you. We also ensure that you get the right dose and make adjustments as needed.

Transdermal pain patch

To get prolonged and sustained relief for up to 2-3 days, you could benefit from a skin patch delivery system. The patch can be formulated with a variety of medications at different dosages to suit your needs. The patch has an adhesive that sticks easily to your skin.

Injections

Some medications can be injected directly into an area where you’re feeling pain, such as weak, numb, or tingling muscles. Our doctors also can inject pain medications directly into the epidural spaces in your spinal cord or into an inflamed or irritated nerve to alleviate nerve pain.

IV pumps

Intense pain is most common in the advanced stages of cancer. If you’ve undergone surgery in the hospital, you probably had your pain medications delivered intravenously (IV). Your doctor may have also given you a pump with a button you can press to deliver a prescribed dose when you need it.

You can control severe cancer pain with at-home IV pumps, too. The IV pump allows you to feel in control of your pain because you can deliver medication before you start to feel uncomfortable. The dosage is pre-set, so you never have to worry about giving yourself too much medication.

Some pain medications and other types of medicine that alleviate your acute or chronic pain may have side effects, including constipation. Be sure to tell your doctor how well your medications are controlling your symptoms and report any side effects or unpleasant sensations, no matter how trivial they may seem. By working together we can help you manage your pain and keep you comfortable.

If you have pain from cancer or its treatments, call us today for a consultation. Simply phone our helpful staff at one of our three offices.

 

 

 

 

 

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