Cancer pain can be debilitating and pain management treatments should be started as soon as possible so you are comfortable. The pain can develop as the tumor grows, because of medications or treatment and can occur after you have gone into remission.
As the tumor gets bigger it can press on surrounding nerves or organs causing you pain. Also, as cancer spreads into bones or organs, this too can cause pain. Medications such as chemotherapy and treatments such as surgery are other factors that cause pain.
The pain felt varies from person to person for various reasons:
- Your pain tolerance
- The type of cancer you developed
- How advanced the cancer is
The cancer pain can also be continuous or come and go throughout your day. It can be mild at times and severe at other moments. Regardless of the pain, you should inform your doctor immediately so they can form a pain management strategy for you.
Pain Management Treatments
If you are experiencing mild pain then your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin), aspirin (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
If the pain get to be severe then your doctor may prescribe narcotics such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone or hydrocodone. Prescribed narcotic can be used in combination with over-the-counter medications but your doctor need to make that decision.
Antidepressants, anti-seizure medications and other medications like corticosteroids and prednisone can also be use for pain, nerve damage or to help with pain that is more a burning or tingling sensation. The latter drugs can be used to reduce swelling if that is what is causing your pain.
Your doctor can also use other pain management strategies such as physical therapy or biofeedback. Doctors will usually look to surgery as a last resort but it may be necessary. Surgery is often done to remove a tumor which could be the culprit causing you so much discomfort.