- After Diagnosis: A Guidefor Patients and Families
- What is cancer?
- Who gets cancer?
- Did I cause my cancer?
- Can cancer be inherited?
- Why me?
- Am I going to die?
- How do I cope?
- How do I talk to people about my diagnosis?
- Making treatment decisions
- How is treatment planned?
- What should I ask my doctor?
- Will I have pain?
- Will I be able to work during treatment?
- Will I be able to exercise during treatment?
- How will cancer affect my sex life?
- How will I pay for all this?
- What other resources do I have?
- To learn more
Will I have pain?
Pain is one of the reasons people fear cancer so much. They are afraid that if they have pain, it will not be relieved. Having cancer does not mean that you will have pain. To some people’s surprise, some cancers cause no physical pain at all. Even people with advanced cancers do not always have pain. But if pain does occur, there are many ways to relieve or reduce it. Along with medicines, there are other ways to help manage pain, such as imagery (mental exercises designed to allow the mind to influence the body), biofeedback (a treatment method that uses monitoring devices to help people consciously control certain physical processes such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, sweating, and muscle tension), relaxation, distraction, surgery, and nerve blocks. A combination of pain control methods can be used if needed.
Some people don’t want to take medicines for pain because they are afraid they will become addicted to them. Research has shown that addiction is not an issue for people with cancer who use pain medicines as prescribed by their doctor.
For more information about pain and pain control, call the American Cancer Society’s toll-free number at 1-800-227-2345, or visit our Web site at www.cancer.org.
Last Medical Review: 03/08/2012
Last Revised: 01/25/2013