It is well known that cancer is a condition that has the best outlook when it is diagnosed early; however, there are factors that most cancer patients share, such as cancer pain. Sadly, this is inevitable, and patients will have to deal with it at some point during their treatment. There are cases in which the condition itself causes the pain. Additionally, most cancer treatments can lead to some pain and discomfort, as well. Some patients suffer from pain even after they recover from cancer. Dealing with this type of pain can not only slow down your healing period, but it can affect many aspects of your life, which is why it is so vital that you react to it immediately. Many things can help provide you with pain relief, however, if none of the methods you have tried work, it is best that you speak to your doctor about your complaints and find a way of managing the cancer pain that works for you.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cancer Pain?
Cancer pain can go from mild to severe. Some patients experience it consistently, while others only experience it occasionally. Some have a higher pain threshold than others, and all these factors play a role in determining what kind of symptoms you will experience. Other factors that also play a role is the type of cancer the person is dealing with, the extent of the condition, and what stage of cancer the person is in. The pain itself is often caused due to tumors or body cancers pressing on the nerves, which occurs once cancer cells start to invade the organs or bones of the body. As previously mentioned, the most common cancer treatment options, such as radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery, can cause pain as well.
Can You Treat Cancer Pain With Medication?
Different types of medication can help treat cancer pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are preferably used to treat patients who are suffering from mild or moderate pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are available over-the-counter. The most common examples of such medications are aspirin and ibuprofen. There are also prescription drugs available that can help those who are suffering from more severe pain. These types of medications are available with a prescription-only, which is why you must speak to your doctor about the severity of your pain. You should tell your doctor about over-the-counter drugs as well, as some might interfere with blood clotting, which can lead to problems with the kidneys or the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
In severe cases, doctors will prescribe you with narcotic pain relievers, sometimes in combination with other milder pain medications. Some narcotic pain relievers that are used to manage cancer pain are codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and morphine. In cases where cancer patients suffer from a burning or tingling sensation, antidepressants such as amitriptyline or nortriptyline might come in handy. Although antidepressants are meant to be used for patients who are suffering from depression, they can also come in handy with pain management in cancer patients. Other medications that can be used for such patients are antiseizure medications or corticosteroids, which can reduce swelling that might cause pain.
Some doctors recommend biofeedback, rehabilitation, physical therapy, imagery, or relaxation techniques. Nerve blocks can also be helpful to some cancer patients, which include injecting pain medication directly into the nerve or spine, near the area that is hurt-ing.
Are There Natural Pain Relievers Available For Cancer Pain?
At the Budwig Center, we prefer to use natural pain remedies that do not carry the nasty side effects of pain medication. There are several natural pain relievers available that many cancer patients use in their pain management. Various herbs have shown to be helpful to many, such as turmeric in high doses. Its extract, curcumin, has an anti-cancer power, can suppress pain, and fight free radicals in the body, which leads to pain. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Many studies were able to show the effectiveness of turmeric in stopping inflammation. Other studies suggest that cancer patients should use papain, which is an extract of the papaya fruit. It was proven that papain could attack tumor cells, improve the immune system but also reduce the adverse effects of radiation therapy. Papain can be found as a supplement or as a topic ointment. Ginger is another powerful cancer pain fighter, that can be found in nature. It can fight pain and inflammation, but also lower prostaglandin levels. Those who have high prostaglandin levels experience more pain. To get these benefits, you can consume fresh ginger, or buy it as a supplement, use it in its oil or extract form.
Cell Electrohydraulic sessions (which are available at the Budwig Center in Spain and clinics we collaborate within Arizona and California) have been very effective in reducing pain. The Cell Sonic Electrohydraulic therapy device switches the electrical polarity of the cancer cells back to the correct alignment. When that happens very often, pain is eliminated or significantly reduced with each session. Also, pain in other parts of the body, such as joint and back pain are effectively treated with this therapy.
Colin Weatherley found the Cell Electrohydraulic sessions help relieve the pain and discomfort he was feeling. Watch his video testimonial:
What About Cannabis Oil?
It is a very popular natural treatment option for cancer patients. It comes from the marijuana plant but doesn’t have as much of the THC compound in it that makes users “high.” It can be found as cooking oil, which can be mixed into the food or just squirted under the tongue. It is illegal to use cannabis products in many states in the US, but not when used for medical reasons. Many patients have said that using cannabis oil has helped them not only with pain but also nausea and vomiting, which is often experienced after radiation therapy or chemotherapy. It has also helped many patients to improve their appetite. Up until now, there are not enough human studies to prove the effectiveness of cannabis oil in treating cancer pain, and if you choose to try it, you should speak to your doctor about it and together decide whether this is an option for you.
In conclusion, cancer patients have to fight many battles, and managing their pain is only one of them. There are many different options when it comes to pain management for cancer patients, such as medication, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, but also more natural approaches, such as ginger or turmeric. Every case is different, and every patient will go through an individual journey, which is why it is essential to find the treatment option that works best for your case. Your doctor can help you decide which approaches are best suitable for you.
1. Pain relief in the final stage of cancer, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18415210/
2. Principles of control of cancer pain, https://www.bmj.com/content/332/7548/1022
3. Opioid rotation in cancer pain treatment, https://www.aerzteblatt.de/int/archive/article/196485/Opioid-rotation-in-cancer-pain-treatment-a-systematic-review
4. Recent advances in understanding and managing cancer pain, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5482325/