The diagnosis of cancer puts paid to every other thought in a patient’s mind until pain comes to the fore. The cancer itself might cause pain and the treatment might add to it.
A patient has not only to face the thought of a terminal illness but also the aches and pains that go with it.
The severity of the pain will also determine a person’s emotional and physical health. Pain can result from diagnostic procedures such as biopsies and remedial intercessions such as chemotherapy. The pain from the tumor can be chronic and can last over a long period of time.
Doctors can control the pain for a cancer patient by giving pain alleviating drugs but research has shown that this is not always the case. The fear is that patients can get addicted to the pain medication or there could be an increase in drug tolerance.
Side effects of pain medication can also deter their prescription, as this would add to the patient’s suffering. Sometimes patients themselves fear the medicines that would help them or else they feel that they can control their reaction to the pain or just bear it.
Patients sometimes don’t follow a treatment regimen because of a lack of understanding so their poor compliance backfires on them. Disproportionate costs and a lack of insurance are also factors that lead to medication not being properly prescribed.
But since the goal of the doctor is to keep the patient as comfortable as possible it is likely that they would get as much information about the pain as possible before prescribing medication.
They would consider the severity of the pain and its distribution in the body to achieve sufficient and safe respite from pain within a suitable period of time, while keeping the side effects of the treatment to a minimum.
What the patient should know is that they should not try to wait for the pain to get worse to take pain medication. Mild pain is more easily controllable than severe pain. Also, while you may develop tolerance for the drug, that is no reason to avoid it. You may have to increase the dosage after a while but you should not turn down pain relief for yourself.
You need not be worried about addiction as only over-usage of a drug against a doctor’s orders will lead to addiction. Follow the prescribed treatment and you will profit.
Part of a doctor’s therapy for you in the treatment of cancer is to control your pain so don’t keep it to yourself if your pain increases. If you suffer from a lot of pain it will affect the quality of your life and those of your family members.
You won’t get the rest you need and you could become fearful and depressed. If you take the pain medication as prescribed then you can enjoy as active and normal a life as possible.
You may also get pain from other illnesses such as arthritis or from a headache or muscle pull. Your doctor will let you know how you should treat pain from such causes apart from the cancer pain.
You must let your care providers know if you are benefiting from the treatment and the pain medication. If you find no relief then you must make them aware of it so they can find the right drugs for you. Give them information about medicines you have taken in the past and other kinds of treatment you have undergone.
A doctor can prescribe nonopioids, antidepressants, steroids, or anticonvulsants. Each of these has benefits and side effects. Ask your physician about them and be aware of the medicines you are taking.
You don’t have to suffer from pain when you have cancer. Improve the quality of your life and accept a medication regimen that will help you live more actively, doing the things you enjoy.