There are many ways to relieve cancer pain. In some cases, treatment to remove or destroy cancerous tumors may help to make you less uncomfortable. If your doctors cannot remove tumors or you are in pain while awaiting surgery, you may find that a range of medication helps to relieve your pain. For example, you may take oral medications such as aspirin, codeine, or oxycodone to relieve pain caused by cancer. If you cannot swallow pain relievers, or keep them down, your doctor may administer pain medication intravenously or prescribe medications that are inserted into the rectum or dispensed through a patch. Nerve blocks and alternative treatments such as acupuncture may also be used to treat cancer pain.
Depending on the intensity of your pain, you may be advised to take an over-the-counter or prescription medication to relieve cancer pain. For example, if you would rate your pain as mild to moderate, you may be able to use such over-the-counter pain relievers as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen to treat it. For moderate-to-severe pain, you may find that prescription drugs such as codeine help. If your pain symptoms are severe, however, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications, such as morphine or oxycodone instead.
Oral medications are usually preferred for treating cancer pain, but there may be some cases in which it is necessary to use other methods of administering them. For example, if you cannot swallow medication, you may need another method of getting a pain reliever into your body. Likewise, if pain medication upsets your stomach, your doctor may suggest another method of administering pain relievers. In such a case, your doctor may deliver a pain reliever through a vein or may administer it through your rectum. Some types of medication can even be administered through a patch you wear on your skin.
Your doctor may also recommend pain control treatments for relieving cancer pain. For example, he may suggest a nerve block to help you to feel more comfortable. In such a case, a pain relieving drug is injected either into a nerve in your body or into the area that surrounds it. This method of treatment may block pain signals from traveling to your brain. When this works as expected, it can provide good cancer pain relief.
You may also try alternative methods of relieving cancer pain. For example, you may try therapeutic massages or acupuncture for this purpose. Relaxation exercises may help as well. In fact, you may even find that laughter helps to relieve cancer pain.