Dealing With Cancer Pain: Management And Treatment Possibilities
Cancer in itself can be appalling, and some may even lose hope the first time they get diagnosed with it. Fortunately, there are now new improvements and breakthroughs in the field of medicine – particularly where oncology is concerned. Such progress has led to an effective approach at cancer and a more therapeutic care regimen for patients who have it.
Causes of cancer pain
Unfortunately, though, cancer as a process almost never excludes pain. The primary cause of pain is usually the disease itself, in which organs in the affected regions are obstructed, or compressed by the tumor or cancer. Another would be the emission of chemicals as a result of the progression of the disease, or an adverse effect of the medication therapy.
Needless to say, pain caused by cancer should be addressed as leaving this unresolved can get in the way of a person’s well-being. Failure to treat pain may impede the entire recovery process, so by all means it should be approached rightly and only by professionals.
Medication treatment for cancer pain
The most common treatment method for cancer pain is medication. Depending on the degree and type of pain, a combination of drugs is usually prescribed to the patient. The following are some of the most common pain medications used in cancer patients:
This type of medication applies best to mild-moderate pain. Most common examples include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and acetaminophen.
For moderate to severe pain, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, methadone, and codeine are the usual medications of choice.
Antidepressants and antiepileptics
These two are usually prescribed for patients with tingling and burning pain. Examples of antidepressants include: amitriptyline, imipramine, doxepin and trazodone. On the other hand, gabapentin is the drug of choice under antiepileptics. People who are prescribed these two classifications of drugs don’t have to be depressed or epileptic.
Other treatment options for pain
But despite the fact that pain medications are a very effective method of addressing cancer pain, many doctors and medical specialists believe in other pain relief techniques as well. Some of these include the following:
Deep breathing and relaxation techniques
- This may seem like a crude way to relieve pain, but it actually does wonders. The distraction of having to focus one’s energy on a particular task (which is, in this case, breathing in and out) diverts the patient’s attention from the uncomfortable and aching sensation.
Heat or cold application
- Using ice pads or heat packs, temperature can be an effective way of easing pain. This is a very common method not only used in remedying cancer pain, but other types of pain as well.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
- On the site of pain, a subtle electric transmission is applied superficially.
- In several studies, hypnotherapy or hypnosis was proven to be effective in relieving the effects of pain in many cancer patients. This technique utilizes manipulation of the patients’ consciousness, enabling them to focus and process information better.