Guide to Controlling Cancer Pain

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What do I need to know about pain control?

This information is written to help people with cancer learn about pain control. Reading this can help you:

Having cancer does not always mean having pain. But for people who do have pain, there are many different kinds of medicines, different ways to take the medicines, and non-drug methods that can help relieve pain.

Pain can affect all parts of your life. If you have pain, you may not be able to take part in your normal day-to-day activities. You may have trouble sleeping and eating. You may be irritable with the people you love. It’s easy to get frustrated, sad, and even angry when you’re in pain. Family and friends do not always understand how you are feeling, and you may feel very alone in your distress.

You should never accept pain as a normal part of having cancer. All pain can be treated, and most pain can be controlled or relieved. When their pain is controlled, many people can sleep and eat better, enjoy being with family and friends, and continue with their work and hobbies.

Only you know how much pain you are in. Telling your doctor and nurse when you are in pain is very important because pain is easier to treat when it first starts. It can also be an early warning sign of the side effects of your cancer treatment or some other problem. Together, you, your nurse, and your doctor can talk about how to treat your pain. You have the right to be treated for your pain, and you should insist on it.

Last Medical Review: 06/10/2014
Last Revised: 06/10/2014