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Cancer Pain - Home Treatment

There are many things you can do at home to reduce your cancer pain, manage side effects, and feel better in your mind and body. Follow your doctor's advice. Talk to your doctor about any home treatment you want to try.

You may find that drugs you can buy without a prescription are enough to ease your pain at times. Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, relieves pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, relieve pain and also decrease swelling. Be sure you know how to safely use these drugs. Talk with your doctor before taking these medicines, especially if you have had kidney or liver disease, gastrointestinal bleeding, or a stomach ulcer. And don't take more than the label says, unless your doctor tells you to do so.

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Some pain medicines may cause problems like nausea, sleepiness, and constipation. Nausea and sleepiness usually go away in the first couple of days, but constipation may be an ongoing problem. To help manage these side effects at home, the following may help:

  • Home treatment for fatigue: You can choose the most important things you want to do if you feel a tiredness that doesn't go away with rest or sleep. For example, if taking a shower is a priority and mornings are when you have the most energy, plan to take your shower at that time.
  • Home treatment for nausea: Drink fluids to stay hydrated. Eating smaller meals may help. A little bit of ginger candy or ginger tea can help too.
  • Home treatment for constipation: Follow your doctor's orders to prevent getting constipated. And check with your doctor about whether exercise might help.
  • Sleepiness. Don't walk up or down stairs alone. Wait until you feel more alert before driving or using machines or other tasks where you need to pay attention. If you can't stay awake at all or the sleepiness lasts for more than a week, talk to your doctor.
  • Home treatment for mouth sores: Keep your mouth and teeth clean. Rinsing out your mouth will help, but use a mouthwash without alcohol. Your doctor can prescribe a mouthwash for mouth pain.

Other home treatments for pain include:

Handling the stress of having cancer

Having cancer can be very stressful, and it may feel overwhelming to face the challenges of cancer. Finding new ways of coping with the symptoms of stress may improve your overall quality of life. These ideas may help:

  • Get the support you need. Spend time with people who care about you, and let them help you.
  • Take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, and eat nourishing foods.
  • Talk about your feelings. Find a support group where you can share your experience.
  • Stay positive. Do things each day that will help you stay calm and relaxed.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 22, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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