Cancer pain is not a solitary event but a fusing of mind and body. Pain caused by diagnostic tests, cancer treatments or the cancer itself travels through the body’s nerve pathways to your brain and may be felt in more than one of your senses. (Find out more about what causes cancer pain on the American Cancer Society website.)Working with your cancer treatment team, you will want to develop different strategies for anticipating and managing various types of pain. Having pain management protocols in place will facilitate early intervention which is the key to effective cancer pain management.
We all respond to pain differently and you may need to experiment to figure out which pain management techniques work best for you. Some people find relief in complementary or alternative cancer therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic or massage. Your Issels treatment specialists may also prescribe drugs or supplements to aid in pain control. Omega-3 fatty-acids and vitamin D supplements have shown some promise in treating certain types of pain.
Effective control of cancer pain generally involves multiple strategies. You may want to try some of these techniques for managing cancer pain:
- Practice mindful meditation. Reacting to pain with anxiety, anger or fear can actually make it worse. In mindful meditation, you focus on controlling your thoughts and feelings rather than your reaction to pain.
- Engage in physical activity. Even small amounts of daily movement can help strengthen muscles and release stress-fighting endorphins.
- Learn to accept pain. Acceptance is the conscious decision to accept what you cannot change, focus on the positives and move forward with your life.