Is There Pain Management For Brain Cancer Patients?
Before we can answer this question, we need to understand what pain management is. This is an area of medicine that focuses on not just reducing pain, but improving the quality of life for the person that suffers. It is best achieved by way of integrative approach.
For a cancer patient, it is an important part of going on with life. And the patients that have and advanced level of cancer, it is usually a severe level of pain they experience. But there is hope for cancer patients with the discovery of different types of therapy that is offered today that can ease their discomfort, giving them some level of a normal life.
For most cancer patients, their pain is normally associated with the tumor itself. It will push on their bones, nerves, or organs, putting them in great discomfort. They also will experience pain from their cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy and especially after any surgery. The chemotherapy often leaves the patient with peripheral neuropathy where they will have a numbness, tingling, and weakness in their extremities.
A cancer patient’s quality of life can be improved with the right type of pain management. An experienced pain management team will work with patients all the way throughout their treatment with the goal of reducing their pain and ensuring they are comfortable. This can be achieved in a variety of ways:
- Acupuncture and Auriculotherapy
- Chiropractic treatment
- Implanted pain pumps
- Massage therapy
- Nerve block therapies
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medications
- Relaxation techniques and guided imagery
A Care Team With Experience
Pain management is critical for a cancer patient and a team approach is important. The team should be working an integrated method with the patient’s oncologist and other members of the team that cares for them. Besides medications, a pain management process should include one or more integrative oncology services such as these:
Naturopathic Medicine: This is the use of natural therapies that can help combat cancer pain. It can also reduce any hormonal side effects that often accompany cancer treatment.
Oncology Rehabilitation: This is a key factor in pain management that uses different physical therapy techniques that improve the patient’s mobility and triggers the endorphins to be released for natural pain defense.
Mind-Body Medicine: This is a team within the team that will teach a cancer patient different relaxation method in order to manage their pain. These methods also reduce a cancer patient’s anxiety and fatigue that are common with cancer and cancer treatment.
Best Approach Is Personalized Approach
Because we are all different and our pains or pain symptoms are uniquely ours, the best approach to pain management is a personalized approach. For a cancer patient, their discomfort may be simply an achy feeling and for another, it may be a consistent dull pain. Another cancer patient may have sharp pains frequently but not steady.
The pain can be measured from mild to severe it can be frequent or steady. The type of cancer will make a difference as does the stage the cancer is. Other factors that affect pain are how far cancer has spread and most important of all is the cancer patient’s own threshold.
Managing The Side Effects
A cancer patient can expect side effects from some of the prescription medicines that used to manage their pain. Those side effects may be one of the following as well as some not listed:
Any side effects should be reported to your doctor. They dosage may be changed to help ease those side effects or the medication itself may be changed. With an integrative approach to oncology services, there are multiple ways to ease help a cancer patient with their discomfort and pain.
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