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5 Non-Surgical Options for Managing Cancer Pain

Cancer, to any degree, is going to cause pain. How your pain is managed is often a team effort. You, your oncologist, and other medical care providers all have some say in what treatment plans are available to you for pain management. Advancements in cancer treatment and pain management have made it possible for many patients to opt for nonsurgical methods for managing cancer pain.

Different Types of Cancer Pain

Although there are patients who don’t experience debilitating pain, the majority do. For cancers that have spread or those that have recurred, pain is a given. Cancer pain varies according to each patient. Let’s take a look at the most common types of pain experienced by cancer patients:

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Surgical Options for Cancer Pain Management

The approach to managing your cancer pain often depends on the area of the body that’s affected and the degree of your pain. Chronic, persistent pain is usually the most disruptive to daily living and a few different options may be necessary for managing this pain. Here are five nonsurgical options for managing cancer pain;

 

Prescription Medication:  For some pain, non-prescription drugs and anti-inflammatories provide relief. However, for some cancer pain, especially chronic, debilitating pain, only prescription drugs will help you cope. Sometimes muscle relaxants or prescription strength NSAIDS will take care of the pain, but other times stronger medications are warranted. Never be afraid to ask for something stronger, such as codeine, fentanyl, or oxycodone, if you need it.

 

Physical Therapy:  The importance of PT in cancer pain treatment and recovery is high. PT can aid in draining the lymphatic system and preventing lymphedema, help with cancer-related fatigue, and provide pain relief through different treatments. Massage, soft tissue mobilization, stretching and strengthening, and even electronic stimulation are all helpful in easing and preventing pain.

 

Holistic, or Complementary Alternative Medication (CAM):  Natural disciplines and a holistic approach are also other ways to manage cancer pain. Through the utilization of chiropractic, massage, visualization, yoga, meditation, and naturopathic practices, pain from cancer can often be minimized.

 

Radiation:  Radiation is a common approach to pain management in certain cancers. Radiation can be used to shrink tumors and inflammation, which, in turn, gives some relief. Radiation can have some side effects that are unpleasant, however.

 

Chemotherapy:  Chemotherapy is an aggressive treatment for cancer and the pain related to the disease. Oftentimes it’s a case of the “cure” being far more painful than the disease. However, chemo is often a necessary and promising treatment in the fight against cancer.

Where to Turn for Nonsurgical Relief

A diagnosis of cancer can be pretty unnerving. When that diagnosis is made worse by cancer pain, it’s a lot to endure. Make sure to seek out support and find ways of coping with the pain. The pain management specialists at Florida Pain Medicine want to help you feel better. As partners with you and your oncologist and caregivers, we want to make you comfortable during other treatment and recovery. Make an appointment with Florida Pain Medicine today, and together we’ll find out the best options for managing your cancer pain.

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