Cancer Pain - Treatment Overview
You are the only one who knows
cancer pain feels. You may need different combinations
of treatments. Don't be surprised if your pain control plan needs to be changed
often. Don't let that discourage you. Be honest and specific about what does
and does not work for you. Staying on top of your pain and in control of your pain will improve your quality of life during every stage of your disease.
Drugs that you can buy
without a doctor's prescription may be enough to relieve your pain at times.
Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, relieves
other drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin relieve pain
and also decrease swelling. But talk with your doctor before you take these medicines. And don't take more than the label says unless your doctor tells you to.
Drugs that need a doctor's
prescription may be stronger or work differently than nonprescription drugs.
Follow your doctor's orders about taking them. Prescription drugs
Medicines for breakthrough pain
This is extra medicine for when strong pain comes on suddenly. These prescription medicines are usually fast-acting opioids given by mouth, such as morphine or oxycodone. Or you may be given fentanyl in a nasal spray or in lozenges that dissolve under your tongue.
Other treatment options
Medical treatments can help relieve pain from tumors and nerve pain.
- Ways to shrink, remove, or destroy painful tumors include:
- Hormone therapy.
- Radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat to destroy the tumor.
- Ways to treat nerve pain include:
- Surgery to cut the nerves that relay pain.
- Nerve blocks to help with very bad
- Pain medicine delivered to the spine. This can be done by:
- Spinal anesthesia, which delivers pain medicine directly to the spine.
- An epidural, which delivers pain medicine to the nerves around the spine.