Cancer pain is unusual compared to other forms of pain because of the large number of forms the pain can take. It can be very debilitating and can appear in numerous parts of the body at once. You can’t just take any kind of medication for the pain, because only certain types will be effective and you might be doing more harm than good by taking the wrong medication.
Because cancer pain can present in complex ways affecting many parts of the body, it is best to talk to an expert about pain management options. Your local general practitioner might not be the best qualified either – sometimes you will have to consult an oncologist or specialist to find a solution to the pain.
Effective treatments can also vary greatly with cancer pain, with some people having to use alternative therapies in conjunction with medication to get pain relief. You should try to keep an open mind when examining possible treatment methods, because pain relief can come from unusual areas including meditation and yoga.
Technology also plays a greater role in cancer pain relief nowadays. Some patients have to undertake scans to determine what part of the body is the root cause of the pain. That is because sometimes while the pain presents in one part of the body, the source of the pain is elsewhere. So you can have a sore back from pancreatic cancer, but treatments targeting back pain will not work on it. Technology helps locate the pain and the best treatment options.
It also helps to have access to staff that have experience in treating people with cancer pain. Being able to consult with experienced oncologists and nurses who have dealt with the particular form of cancer that you have will usually lead to a solution much faster. They will also have a greater understanding of the extent of the pain that you are going through.
Finding a doctor with that level of experience is crucial. Don’t be afraid of trying a number of doctors is your cancer pain is unresolved. Continue searching for pain relief even after a couple of doctors have failed you – relief is usually out there.
Also consult cancer support groups and other people who are going through the same cancer as you. People with the same illness will know exactly what the pain is like and what pain relief measures work. They are often the best source of information because they have experienced cancer pain first hand. Fellow cancer patients can also offer empathy because they know the battle with cancer very well.
Staying positive is also crucial, continue looking for pain relief and don’t give up.