Tips for Bone Cancer Pain Management
People with bone cancer experience some amount of pain during the course of the illness. Bone cancer pain has been classified as acute and chronic. Although, acute pain is similar to chronic pain, it is easier to manage. Chronic pain keeps recurring and may be disabling over time.
Bone cancer pain is associated with the disease and the treatments that one goes through for the disease. Much of the bone cancer pain that a patient suffers from is caused by pressure exerted on the nerves and the organs near the site of the bone tumour. Availing a complete relief from the pain may not be possible, but several options to get relief from the pain, temporarily, are available. Here are some relief measures:
- Take a medication to reduce bone pain. Start by using over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or aspirin. Ask your doctor for something stronger if needed. There are certain prescription pain killers that may cause unfavourable side effects such as constipation, dizziness and tiredness. Some of these prescriptions include codeine, morphine etc. The side effects may spoil your social life by interfering with your comfort levels.
- Reduce the inflammation of the area with cancer by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Such medications are easily available over-the-counter and in stronger strengths. They relieve bone cancer pain by reducing swelling that might be there on the cancer infected area. Furthermore, they may help in stopping bone-breakdown caused by cancer.
- Ask your doctor if you can go through radiotherapy. Radiotherapy shrinks the tumour thereby relieving pain and giving the bones time to heal and strengthen. Radiotherapy usually involves 2-3 sittings, but may take longer for the bones to relieve.
- Nerve blocks can be used as a method to relive the painful areas. By way of a nerve block, a medicine is injected into the area/s that surrounds specific nerves to numb them. This procedure stops the nerve from transmitting pain signals from the painful area to the brain.
- Try to get the tumour surgically removed. Ask your doctor if your tumour can be surgically removed because certain tumours cannot be removed effectively through a surgery.
- Look out for alternative therapies to reduce bone cancer pain. Check out therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure and massages. Look for licensed therapists near your locality so you get the best treatment within your reach.
Read more articles on Bone Cancer Treatment.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 17, 2012
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