How to Control Bone Cancer Pain

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 03, 2012

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How to control bone cancer pain

Bone cancer is extremely painful and it tends to worsen as the cancer cells keep multiplying inside the bones. As bone has a limited area, so the growing tumor begins to put pressure on the nerves in the bones. The cancer makes the bones softer and weaker, as a result nerves get exposed and this causes more pain. There are many treatment options to ease the pain, including medications, radiation therapy, and an innovative treatment called cryoablation.

Cancer makes the bone either too brittle or too thick and overdeveloped. Owing to this, pain occurs by irritating nerves inside the bone or by stretching the membrane that covers the bone. For different kind of pain, different pain controlling methods are used.


Radiotherapy for bone pain

Radiotherapy is considered one of the better ways to control bone cancer pain. The areas of cancer cells in the bone are called secondary bone cancer. Secondary bone cancer weakens the bones by damaging healthy bone cells. Radiotherapy can help to strengthen the bones and make them less likely to break. It can also treat bones that have fractured. As radiotherapy destroys the cancer cells, so the bone begins to regain its lost tissues, thus becoming stronger and less painful.



The type and amount of a painkiller needed depends on the severity of the pain. Generally 3 groups of painkillers are used for the treatment. The weakest group of painkillers includes aspirin and paracetamol. The middle group includes codeine. The strongest group includes morphine type drugs. Morphine is used for severe bone pain. These painkillers can cause constipation. So laxatives are always prescribed to take along with these drugs.


Other drugs

Some antidepressants are also used to treat bone cancer pain. These include Elavil, Tofranil, Adapin or Sinequan and Desyrel. These drugs treat nerve related or neuropathic pain very effectively. Some non steroid anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, flurbiprofen, diclofenac and diclofenac can be very useful to relive the pain of bone cancer by reducing the swelling in the bone.



Cryoablation or freezing the cancer cells on contact is a new method of controlling bone cancer pain. In this method a slender probe is allowed to pass through the skin to a bone cancer tumor. The probe is then used to place ice on the cancer cells, freezing them in place. Researchers have found that cryoablation can significantly alleviate pain associated with bone cancer.

Pain during bone cancer is intolerable. There are numerous medications and therapies which can help in controlling the bone cancer pain.


Read more articles on Bone Cancer.



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