Tumor pain or cancer pain is one of the worst symptoms of cancer. The pain is very pronounced in many cancer patients and therefore has a negative effect on the well-being of the patient. They therefore absolutely require individual treatment by an experienced pain therapist who is familiar with medication for tumor pain.
What is cancer pain?
Cancer pain always occurs in connection with cancer and can reach a very high pain intensity. Approximately two thirds of cancer patients suffer from tumor pain during the course of their illness, in the final stages even approximately 90 percent. For histiocytosis x explained, please visit psyknowhow.com.
Since cancer pain leads to a significant impairment of the quality of life of the cancer patient, good treatment with painkillers is absolutely necessary. Depending on which part of the body the cancer is located in, tumor pain can affect a wide variety of parts of the body.
Cancer pain can be caused either by the cancerous tumor or by the cancer itself or by metastases that have spread throughout the body of the cancer patient during the course of the disease.
Due to their size and growth, the tumor or metastases can press on or grow into surrounding organs or nerves, causing severe tumor pain. Inflammation caused by tumor growth can also be responsible for tumor pain.
Another cause of tumor pain is the treatment of the cancer, such as surgery or amputation of the affected part of the body. In addition, drugs used in cancer therapy can have severe side effects. For example, chemotherapy or radiation often leads to tumor pain in cancer patients.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Cancer pain is a regular occurrence in cancer patients. They are caused either by the tumor itself or by the treatment. Physicians differentiate between real complaints, phantom pains and signs that have psychological causes. It is not always possible to distinguish between the named identifiers. The intensity of the pain varies greatly among those affected.
The location and type of tumor can be decisive. Cancer patients describe emerging pain very differently. Therefore, no clear classification can be made. Often mentioned attributes are pulling, burning and throbbing. There is also often a feeling of heat in the affected areas. The subjective experience is treated in pain therapy. Drugs are intended to specifically combat the causes and enable a symptom-free everyday life.
The treatment of a tumor is often associated with negative side effects. Patients then complain of inflammation of the mucous membranes or [[scar pain. While these complaints can be clearly localized, many other symptoms are more of a psychological nature. Those affected complain of anxiety and depression.
Regular sleep is no longer possible at night. The ability to concentrate decreases significantly. Those affected are often exhausted. Phantom pain occurs in repeated attacks. They are often related to the removal of organs and body parts for cancer.
Diagnosis & History
Since tumor pain always occurs in connection with cancer, most patients already have comprehensive findings that were collected during cancer diagnostics.
This includes, for example, imaging procedures such as MRT or CT of the bones, the spine and the brain. These findings are also helpful and interesting for the work of the pain therapist, since they can be used to gain an overview of the physical situation of the cancer patient and thus initiate a suitable therapy against the tumor pain.
If necessary, he will arrange for further examinations to obtain more information about the causes of the tumor pain and the cancer patient. With the help of appropriate medication, a significant improvement in quality of life and alleviation of tumor pain can be achieved in most cases.
Cancer pain is a physical and psychological burden for those affected. In addition to the typical pain, which increases as the disease progresses, sleep disorders can also occur. A poor night’s sleep leads to reduced performance, poor concentration and mood swings, among other things.
Well-being and quality of life decrease sharply and promote depressive moods and anxiety disorders. Some patients develop major depression associated with cancer, which in many cases persists after recovery. Should the patient try to reduce the tumor pain with the help of self-measures such as scratching or pressing on the tumor, this can lead to the growth shifting or even breaking open.
In this case, serious complications can arise and the patient must be treated immediately. Cancer pain therapy is relatively risk-free for the patient. Since in most cases, however, very strong painkillers are used, side effects cannot be ruled out. The prescribed opiates often cause memory disorders and make the patient physically and mentally less efficient. It can also not be ruled out that the patient develops an addictive behavior.
When should you go to the doctor?
In principle, if pain is present, a doctor should be consulted to clarify the symptoms. Since the pain leads to a severe impairment of the quality of life, it must be clarified and examined by a specialist. If the pain intensity increases or other areas of life are affected, it is advisable to have the disease checked by a doctor. Despite a diagnosed tumor and regular treatment, pain or changes in known symptoms should be discussed with the attending physician. This allows corrections to an existing treatment plan.
Consultation with a doctor should also be sought if the pain occurs sporadically and there are times when you are free of symptoms. If the impairments and irregularities occur spontaneously in the course of everyday life, a restructuring of everyday processes is also urgently recommended. Dangerous situations can arise due to the tumor pain, which entail an increased risk of accidents.
If there are further irregularities, visual changes or restrictions in movement options, a doctor is also required. In the case of general weakness, sleep disorders, interruptions in concentration and attention deficits, the person concerned needs medical help. If everyday obligations can no longer be met or if the patient is dependent on the continuous support of other people, the changes should be discussed with a doctor.
Treatment & Therapy
When it comes to setting and dosing the medication for tumor pain, it is very helpful if the treating oncologist works together with a pain therapist who is considered a specialist in the treatment of tumor pain.
The World Health Organization has developed a step-by-step plan for treating cancer patients with painkillers, which pain therapists use as a guide. Depending on the type of pain, for example whether it is acute or chronic, the pain therapist will recommend different medications that are individually adapted to the situation of the cancer patient in question.
In most cases, very strong painkillers such as opiates are used, which should not cause addiction in tumor patients. These are often combined with other active ingredients in order to permanently improve the patient’s pain situation. In most cases, the combination of suitable pain medication can significantly improve the tumor pain and thus the quality of life of the cancer patient.
The pain medication for tumor pain can be taken either in tablet or patch form. The possibility of a pain pump should also be considered in the case of severe tumor pain. In addition, experienced pain therapists include the psychosocial situation of the patient in the treatment of tumor pain.
Real prevention is difficult in the case of tumor pain. You can only try to prevent the development of cancer through preventive medical check-ups and a healthy lifestyle. If the first signs of tumor pain appear in the context of cancer, treatment by a good pain therapist that is individually tailored to the patient should be initiated as quickly as possible. In this way, a worsening of the pain situation and thus the well-being of the cancer patient due to tumor pain can be avoided.
In the case of tumor pain, follow-up care usually proves to be relatively difficult. In many cases, the pain can only be reduced for a short time, but not completely healed. Therefore, the person affected by this disease should consult a doctor at an early stage and initiate treatment so that other complications or symptoms do not occur in the further course. Early detection of the tumor can prevent it from spreading in the body.
In the case of tumor pain, regular check-ups and examinations by a doctor are very important in order to identify further symptoms at an early stage. Most of those affected are dependent on taking various medications. It is always important to ensure that the medication is taken regularly and that the correct dosage is used in order to counteract the pain properly.
If anything is unclear, a doctor should be consulted first. As with any other tumor disease, support and care should also be provided by one’s own family in the case of tumor pain. This can also significantly reduce depression and other mental upsets. The further course cannot be generally predicted, since it depends very much on the course of the tumor disease.
You can do that yourself
Cancer pain is a typical side effect of cancer. However, there are some measures that reduce the pain and thereby improve well-being.
If pain occurs, the doctor must first be informed. The doctor can clarify the cause of the symptoms and prescribe a suitable antidote. If necessary, another specialist doctor can be involved in the treatment. When planning pain medication therapy, good planning is important so that sufficient medication is also available during weekends and public holidays. In an emergency, the medical emergency service can be contacted.
Alternative measures promise additional help. These include heat and cold therapy, massages or physiotherapy. Stimulation also alleviates symptoms and improves well-being. In consultation with the doctor, acupuncture and acupressure can be tried. Some patients also benefit from electrotherapy, in which the nerves and muscles are activated by electric shocks, thereby regulating the sensation of pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is also an effective remedy for tumor pain.
Muscle tension is best relieved with relaxation and massage. Typical relaxation methods such as yoga or progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson are just as effective. If the pain is very severe or does not subside, medical advice is recommended.