Managing Cancer Pain

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Managing Pain in Cancer Patients 

Managing cancer pain explained 

Managing Pain in Cancer Patients

The announcement that you or a loved one has cancer creates a frightening and complex situation. Besides the usual fears is the concern that the patient will suffering a lot of pain during treatment. 

You want to make sure that this pain can be properly managed so that you or the loved one does not suffer unduly. 

Pain management becomes a very important part of the entire treatment of a cancer patient. Luckily, there are many different approaches to pain management, and there are now medical specialists who can help determine the most effective in each case. 

That is now a big misconception, that having cancer will automatically mean a great deal of pain in the treatment. 

People frequently feel they just have to learn to deal with it. With today's pain management techniques, this has become a complete fallacy. 

No-one needs to adjust to pain any longer. If a patient is open and communicative about the pain they are experiencing, his pain management team will be able to find relief for the patient. There are a number of ways to manage pain, and the patient needs to let the experts decide which steps to take to alleviate it. 

Most doctors are very sensitive to the pain and discomfort of their patients, but if you should express the need for pain control and your doctor doesn't have any options to suggest, then request to meet with someone who specializes in the area of pain management. 

This may be an:-

  • Oncologist ,a doctor whose specialty is the treatment of cancer.

  • Anesthesiologist, a doctor who specializes in pain management during surgery.

  • Neurologist, a doctor whose area of specialization encompasses the nervous system

  • Neurosurgeon, a doctor who specializes in performing surgery on the entire nervous system, including the spine and brain. 

Pain management should be considered part of the entire process of treating cancer patients. It should not be considered a luxury. Neither should it only be introduced when pain becomes completely unbearable. 

Dealing with pain can actually hinder treatment, so your doctor will want to be informed about any pain or discomfort as soon as it starts.

The method of pain management may change over time, as the pain lessens or increases, so it is very important to keep your doctor informed about the pain. 

One should not be over treated in this area, nor should one be under treated. Once medication is prescribed that will address the pain, don't feel as though you should have to be 'brave' and hold off as long as possible between doses. 

Your doctor has prescribed what he or she believes will be the appropriate source of relief, and postponing your doses can cause the pain to become more intense or, in some cases, encourage you to increase the dosage in order to compensate for the greater level of discomfort. 

The members of your medical team will discuss the importance of taking the medication when you're supposed to, and what the dosage should be. 

Controlling the pain is easier when it begins than it is after it intensifies. The reason many patients resist the idea of pain medication is that the are concerned that they will become addicted or immune to the medication, or that there will be the side effects. 

If these concern you, you should consult your doctor. He will assure you that, as long as you follow the program and are monitored, there should be no concerns. 

For more information about pain management, contact the American Cancer Society or the National Cancer Institute. Medical professionals are always on hand to assist you with questions and concerns about all facets of the disease, including the management of pain. 

The author of Managing Cancer Pain is Andrea Kenningsworth

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Source:  Article Managing Cancer Pain was submitted by Andrea Kenningsworth for publication.

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