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Managing Cancer Pain at Home

Apr 01, 2022

Cancer pain can rob you of your will to fight, making every day an uphill climb. If you’re struggling to get through your daily routine with continual discomfort, it might be time to consult a specialist and begin considering your options. It can be difficult to manage cancer pain with a single solution, but a multi-pronged approach can provide better relief. 

At Florida Pain Management Institute in Delray Beach, Florida, board-certified pain management specialists Adam Shestack, MD, and Cy Blanco, MD, provide medical support and various options, including medical marijuana, to help you get relief from cancer pain

Understanding cancer pain

Cancer pain can come from various sources: the cancer itself, other conditions accompanying the cancer, or any of its various treatments or their side effects.

Causes of cancer pain

Cancer pain is often caused by one or more tumors pressing on nerves or body organs, or by cancer cells invading body organs or bones, causing swelling and inflammation. Common treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or bone marrow transplant can also cause pain.

Types of cancer pain

Cancer pain can range from sharp and piercing at the site of a tumor to generalized body aches and pains, to headaches or stomach cramps. In some cases, the symptoms can be treated directly. In cases of more generalized pain, a solid pain management plan is the best path forward.

Traditional treatments for cancer pain

Traditional treatments for cancer pain include heat, cold, over-the-counter pain relievers, and opioids. Many patients also benefit from physical activity such as yoga or pilates to help keep the body flexible, or from low-impact exercises such as those recommended by a physical therapist. 

Water aerobics can also be helpful, as can massage therapy. In some cases, a nerve block can help remove severe pain that isn’t treatable with other pain management techniques. Patients may combine traditional treatments with supplemental therapies like hypnosis or aromatherapy.

Medical marijuana for cancer pain

For many people with cancer, medical marijuana has multiple beneficial effects. It can reduce pain symptoms without the need to resort to opioids. Marijuana can also increase appetite and minimize nausea, which are both common problems suffered by cancer patients undergoing treatment like chemotherapy or radiation.

For most patients, using several options to manage cancer pain is the best way to proceed. This prevents dependency on one method and helps keep treatments that work from losing their effectiveness over time.

You don’t have to suffer unnecessarily with cancer pain. To learn more about your options, call the office at 561-331-5050, or use our online tool to schedule an appointment.