I have metastatic breast cancer and often have a lot of pain. Is there any way I can manage this pain?
You are not alone; about 90 percent of patients with advanced cancer say pain is the most distressing symptom of their disease. The good news is that your pain can be controlled. Although most cancer pain is a result of a tumor pressing on bones, nerves, or organs, pain can also occur as a consequence of surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
Most often, cancer pain is treated with medicine usually given by a medical oncologist. However, surgery, radiation therapy, and other treatments, such as nerve blocks and psychological methods, can be used along with medicine to provide the best possible pain relief.
An accurate diagnosis of the cause of pain can be challenging, and effective pain management can be complex. Pain management specialists employ an interdisciplinary approach to ease suffering and improve quality of life of those living with pain. Treatment approaches may include medications such an analgesics, tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants, interventional procedures, physical therapy, exercise, ice, heat, and psychological measures, such as biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Breastcancer.org. Treatments for Pain. www.breastcancer.org Accessed 5/7/2012
- American Cancer Society. Cancer-Related Pain. www.cancer.org Accessed 5/7/2012
- National Cancer Institute. Pain Control: Support for People with Cancer. www.cancer.gov Accessed 5/7/2012
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