Prostate Cancer Pain: A Guide for You and Your Family
Important Facts About Cancer Pain Treatment continued...
6. Most people do not get "high" or lose control when they take cancer pain medicines as prescribed by a doctor.
Some pain medicines can cause you to feel sleepy when you first take them. This feeling usually goes away within a few days. Sometimes you become drowsy because, with the relief of the pain, you are able to catch up on the sleep you missed when you were in pain. On occasion, people get dizzy or feel confused when they take pain medicines. Tell your doctor or nurse if this happens to you. Changing your dose or type of medicine can usually solve the problem.
7. Side effects from medicines can be managed or often prevented.
Most pain medicines will cause constipation, nausea and vomiting, or drowsiness. Your doctor or nurse can help you manage these side effects. These problems usually go away after a few days of taking the medicine. Many side effects can be managed by changing the medicine or the dose or times when the medicine is taken.
8. Your body does not become immune to pain medicine.
Stronger medicines should not be saved for "later." Pain should be treated early. It is important to take whatever medicine is needed. You do not need to save the stronger medicines for later. If your body gets used to the medicine you are taking, your medicine may not relieve the pain as well as it once did. This is called tolerance. Tolerance may be a problem with cancer pain treatment because of the length of time you are on the medicine. But the amount of medicine can be changed or other medicines can be added.
When pain is not treated properly, you may be:
When cancer pain is managed properly, you can:
- Enjoy being active
- Sleep better
- Enjoy family and friends
- Improve your appetite
- Enjoy sexual intimacy
- Prevent depression
Developing a Plan for Pain Control
The first step in developing a plan is talking with your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist about your pain. You need to be able to describe your pain to your health professionals as well as to your family or friends. You may want to have your family or friends help you talk with your health professionals about your pain control, especially if you are too tired or in too much pain to talk to them yourself.