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How can I ease the side effect of pain when I have cancer treatment?

Posted by Be Well

How can I ease the side effect of pain when I have cancer treatment?
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Around 1 in 3 people with cancer don't experience any pain at all. But if you do, there are many effective ways of treating it.

If you are in pain, whether because of the cancer itself, or as a result of surgery to remove the cancer, speak to your doctor or nurse as soon as possible so that they can arrange for suitable treatment.

Everyone experiences pain in a different way and to varying degrees, so your health professional will aim to prescribe the specific pain relief for your needs.

Remember that the level of your pain is not necessarily related to the severity of the cancer, so more pain does not mean that the cancer is getting worse, and the pain will not necessarily increase if your cancer continues to develop.

Prescribed medications and other treatments are an important part of dealing with pain, but some other quite simple techniques can also help:

  • Lying or sitting in the right position can make a big difference. Ask a willing helper, like a friend or family member, or your district nurse, to help you find a comfortable position. Getting the number and shape of your pillows right can also help.
  • Ask someone you feel comfortable with to give you a gentle massage to help relieve the tension in your muscles. Avoid rubbing areas that have been treated with radiotherapy though. Massage may not be suitable if you have cancer of the bones as it may actually increase the pain.
  • Try a hot water bottle or ice pack (wrapped in a tea towel to protect your skin) .
  • Try to have something to look forward to every day, to keep your mind off the pain, even for just a short time. Try simple things like watching your favorite program on television, or chatting with friends.
  • Explain to family and friends that the pain can make you feel tired and irritable, so that they understand what you're going through. That way you don't feel guilty if you're having a bad day, and they know not to take it personally.

Further information:

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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