Cancer Pain Management

Cancer Pain Management


Having cancer does not mean always experiencing pain but if there is pain then it needs to be consulted to the medical team to ensure proper cancer pain management.

Cancer pain depended on the type and stage of cancer and other existing health problems. Besides that, pain can also be caused by surgery, examination, or treatment. The pain can interfere with daily activities such as sleeping or eating and also can be misunderstood by others which later on causes stress or depression.

So, can this pain be treated?

The pain perhaps cannot be eliminated altogether but the medical team can assist by providing cancer pain management to reduce it as much as possible.

What the patient/caregiver can do:

  • Consult the medical team
  • Inform if the medication is less effective or causes nausea
  • Assess pain level
  • Take medications according to instruction
  • Don’t wait until the pain is too intense
  • Avoid sudden cease of medication
  • Always have medications at home

There are a few types of cancer pain management that can be used separately or in combination:

  • Medications

Most pain can be handled effectively using a combination of medicines. The type of medicine is given according to the pain level. As addition to the common pain medications (non-steroid anti inflammation drugs, acetaminophen, and opioid), we can also use anti-convulsive and anti-depression.

  • Interventional Technique

There are some variations such as pain pumps (under skin implants) that can deliver pain killer to the spinal liquor and avoid the side effects’ of opioids. Another choice is nerve blockade by injecting anesthesia near the nerves to reduce the severe pain of internal organ pain from cancer. Epidural steroid injection is given for non-cancer dependent pain and due to osteoarthritis. Spinal cord stimulation is performed by sending low current electricity to the spine to treat nerve pain. This type of therapy is very useful for patients with extreme pain post chemotherapy or radiation.

  • Holistic Therapy

The doctors can help the patient’s mental health by teaching how to control pain through relaxation or mindfulness therapy. Cognitive therapy can also help someone increase the ability to withstand pain.

Family as the main caregiver need all the support available and a great teamwork with the medical team. It is important to have a complete medical team including oncologist, surgeon, radiotherapist, psychiatrist, etc for optimum cancer pain management.

Reviewed by:
Ditinjau oleh:

Dr. Eddy Wiria, PhD

Co-Founder & CEO Kavacare