If Pain Killers Do Not Relieve Cancer Pain, What Else Is Available?


Question: If Pain Killers Do Not Relieve My Cancer-Related Pain, What Other Treatments Are Available?

Answer: Well first, most cancer pain can be relieved reasonably successfully. The first part of the cancer pain-fixing is to make sure that the assessment is right. There's often body pain or somatic pain, that's a deep aching pain that comes when cancer spreads someplace. We're most familiar with that sort of pain. There's another type of pain called neuropathic pain, or nerve pain -- burning, shooting, itching pain, pain shooting pain that goes down a leg or down an extremity -- that requires a different approach. So make sure you tell your doctor that you have several different types of pain.

Second, report to your doctor if the pain medicines aren't working. One of our biggest barriers is that patients are afraid to tell us that the pain medicines aren't working. And if we know, we can fix most things over the phone.

The third big area is to try other types of pain medicines, particularly if you have this neuropathic or nerve pain. If someone has burning, shooting, stinging pain, or shooting pain, it may not respond to morphine, or codeine, or drugs like that. It may require a nerve quieting-down medicine, a seizure medicine, or an epilepsy medicine, or an arthritis medicine, something to quiet down those abnormal nerves, and stop them from hurting. That's often a really important part, along with the morphine or opioid, to fully-relieve somebody's pain.



Is There Always A Way To Treat Cancer-Related Pain?

Previous: Is Using Pain Killers The Best Way To Treat Cancer Pain?

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4047792. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4047792. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4047792.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Ebola patients Nina Pham, left, Dr. Craig Spencer, center, and Amber Vinson are seen in undated file photos.
Courtesy Pham Family | LinkedIn | Obtained by ABC
PHOTO: Television personalities Mama June and Honey Boo Boo are seen in this, June 11, 2014, file photo.
Douglas Gorenstein/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
PHOTO: Overall winner for the Wildlife Photography of the Year 2014, The last great picture by Michael Nick Nichols.
Michael Nick Nichols/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014
PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II sends her first Tweet during a visit to the Science Museum on Oct. 24, 2014 in London, England.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images