Cancer Pain Treatment in Pasadena
Each year, approximately 14 million people learn the disheartening news that they have cancer. In many cases, cancer itself can cause pain, but in other cases it could be caused by the treatment or the tests done in order to obtain the diagnosis. Whether you experience any pain is mostly dependent on the type/stage of cancer you have and your pain tolerance level. Most pain occurs when a tumor presses on bones, nerves or body organs, and people with advanced cancer will typically experience more pain and accompanying issues.
Cancer Pain Treatment
Some options normally available are:
- Over-the-counter and prescription-strength pain relievers – aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.)
- Weak opioid medications, such as codeine
- Strong opioid medications – morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, methadone or oxymorphone
When Drugs Aren’t Enough
We offer you many options when medications don’t relieve your pain. These include:
- Radiation Therapy: This reduces pain by shrinking the tumor. A single dose of radiation therapy may be enough to decrease pain significantly and efficiently in most patients.
- Nerve Blocks/Implanted Pump: Certain nerve blocks may help relieve some pain. Nerve blocks are local anesthetics injected around or into a nerve, which prevents pain messages from reaching the brain. An implanted pump may also be an option for relief.
- Neurosurgery: Nerves (typically ones found in the spinal cord) are cut to relieve pain.
Why Some People Live With Cancer Pain Instead Of Seeking Cancer Pain Treatment
Talking to a knowledgeable doctor or specialist about cancer pain can help reduce your stress. Cancer pain is often undertreated because of people’s reluctance to talk about the pain they are experiencing. Many patients forget that they are the experts when it comes to their own pain. So why don’t patients ask their doctors about the pain they are experiencing?
Patients are often reluctant to discuss their pain because they don’t want to “burden” their doctors. Not every doctor specifically asks about pain at an appointment, but cancer patients should be asked at every appointment for better assessment. If your doctor doesn’t know enough about proper cancer pain treatment, he or she should refer you to a cancer pain treatment specialist.
Some patients fear that they will end up addicted to pain medication. The truth is, addiction typically doesn’t happen when you take medications as prescribed for pain. Most people who become addicted continue taking pain medications when they are no longer in pain just to “get high.” When taken properly, medication has far greater benefits than negative side effects.
Many people fear feeling sleepy, unable to communicate with friends and family, acting strangely or being seen as dependent on drugs. Some patients are afraid that taking medications like morphine may shorten their life. Recent evidence shows that good pain control may actually help you live longer.
Always share what you are experiencing, your pain level and any side effects, with your healthcare team. Think of your pain using a rating system of 0 to 10, where 0 means no pain and 10 means the worst pain imaginable. This will help your team better assist you. You and your doctor will set goals and work as a team. The primary goal is making you feel comfortable. We have a strong pain management program and we believe we can help you!
We can ease your pain significantly with the proper care and treatment of pain disorders. We are dedicated to meeting your individual needs.
Discover specialized care for cancer pain. Call 626-345-9735 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. We are accepting new patients, have minimal wait-times and are eager to help you overcome pain. Patients come to us from Altadena, Glendale, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Rosemead and neighboring areas.