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pain management challenge in cancer patients is due to lack of communication- otherwise, we have a solution to it and it is a necessity to be implicated.

How Pain Management in Cancer Patients Is Challenging Due To Lack Of Communication

Addressed by Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit that pain management in cancer patients is difficult and to talk about pain and maintain unbarred communication with your healthcare provider if you are already suffering from deadly diseases like cancer.

Still, I would suggest, that it is an important part of your care to elaborate on your pain symptom during or after cancer treatment. As per statistics in the literature, up to 90% of cancer-associated pain is successfully treatable and manageable being an important part of cancer care guidelines. 

Yes, it’s agreeable that not all proportion of patients with cancer does not benefit from pain management but that is no reason to suffer in silence as still, a lot of effective help is available to be delivered by your cancer care team. 

It’s not uncommon to find words describing unpleasant sensations referred to as Pain; which is subjective. Various published and ongoing research have enabled us to understand pain using strategically designed clinical trials. 

Myth practiced by a certain proportion of the community is a vague belief that pain is a natural aspect of being alive so they shall suffer their part. 

However, for rest pain is devastating and requires an immediate remedy. Cancer survivors and sufferers can give explain cancer-related pain that often continues for months or years during or after treatment. 

I was personally surprised to interact with my patients and came up to the conclusion that around 25% of cancer survivors reported living with chronic pain unless I gave them post-treatment pain management; which gave them effective relief. 

Does this fact serves as a reminder of the high price of cancer treatment; NOT REALLY. 

Despite chronic illness- long-term unmanaged pain, it needs serious thoughts of communication with your Doctor. 

He or she can provide you with pain management regimens effective within your budget as well. Pain management nowadays has numerous advances in interventions that can help in improving the quality of life. 

Your Doctor might need lots of answers as pain is deceptive and subjective so provide him with your experiences and history of pain; answer all questions: Well the key is proper communication. This healthy therapeutic relationship will allow your doctor to develop a treatment plan. 

For example: 

  • Patients with neuropathy from chemotherapy require pain management for about 12 months or more. 
  • Cancer Survivors with a history of stem cell transplantation report painful syndromes that require lifestyle changes (behavioral therapy etc) and pharmacotherapy 
  • Well, an example of certain medications used in pain management includes aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, codeine, etc. 
  • Relaxation therapies and behavioral therapies are also used in pain management 
  • Transdermal fentanyl is used extensively in patients with dysphagia
  • Interventional therapies: nerve blocks, vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, and Botulinum toxin injections especially with cases of muscle spasticity, tightness, and pain are of great success 

Being an experienced medical oncologist I suggest since the pain of cancer is chronic requires effective intervention. So try to communicate with cancer patients as healthcare providers at home or healthcare setup. 

You or your medical team might get worried about the dangers that come with pain management with strong pharmacotherapy. Well, don’t worry interdisciplinary and collaborative effort is made with different approaches. 

So, side effects like itching, drowsiness and sleepiness, nausea, and constipation can be managed but the key to communication is essential. Don’t suffer from side effects they can be treated effectively; instead, tell to your treating doctor. 

Same time keeping in mind medicolegal consequences it’s really important to prevent overdosage of opioid pain medicines without having a prescription. As it can be dangerous leading to drug abuse and death of people. 

Despite advances in cancer treatment, over 600,000 individuals die each year from cancer, among which 70% are expected to have pain as an anachronic symptom at the end of life: as per reported data in the literature. 

Ever gold standard of end‐of‐life care is pain relief so that suffering individuals at the end can have a peaceful last phase of life. 

I understand as human and Medico that the continued challenge for optimum pain relief rests on communication being a key that can enable us to cross all barriers and challenges for pain management associated with cancer.

Following are some tips for communicating that help Pain Management In Cancer Patients

Share your feelings.

Talking about your emotions might be hard, but it can comfort you and the people who care about you. When you tell someone whom you love what you’re feeling, you give that person a chance to support you. You also give your relationship with that person a chance to grow. For some people, talking to others who are in a similar situation can help to decrease feelings of anxiety, isolation, or fear.

Be specific.

When reaching out to others, be specific about the kind of support you need. Saying something like, “It would be helpful if you could shop for groceries this week,” or “Can you please drive me to my next appointment?” gives people a clear way to help. This approach cuts down on frustration and reassures your family and friends that they are being helpful.

Take steps to look and feel your best.

Many feel uncomfortable with their appearance after having surgery or chemotherapy. If you had breast surgery or are experiencing hair loss and changes in your physical appearance, learn about options available, such as breast prostheses and wigs. Give yourself time to adjust to changes, and try different solutions until you find what makes you feel most comfortable. Let yourself feel loved and cared for.

After a lumpectomy or mastectomy, a woman may find that regular activities, such as dressing, undressing, bathing, or being intimate with her partner or spouse, give rise to complex emotions. Some women feel so different that they stop taking care of their

emotional and physical needs. For example, a woman may distance herself emotionally from her partner. You can make other choices, such as choosing to remain close to your partner or spouse. Everyone deserves to feel loved and cared for. taking care of your well-being Regular physical activity has many health benefits, but it can also help improve your mood and reduce anxiety and depression

Talk to your spouse or partner

About the physical closeness you need. Share how you feel about your body, and talk about what you think or worry that your partner is

feeling. Whatever your needs are – whether you feel a need for physical activity, or if you are not yet interested in being physically

intimate – let your partner know. Your partner is most likely waiting for your signal to know

what to do, how to act, and what you need. Discuss your concerns with your doctor or nurse. If you feel you have lost the desire to be

physically intimate, bring it up with your doctor or nurse. These healthcare professionals can help you understand the physical changes that may be causing these feelings. They can also suggest ways to increase your interest in physical intimacy and make

Also read: 

A Patient Shared Her Battle For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Dr Sajjan Rajpurohit

Best cancer specialist in Delhi, Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit has been a practicing physician for the past 22 years and is currently working as Director in the Medical Oncology at BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi. He is also a European certified as Best Medical Oncologist in Delhi, India, ESMO, Geneva. Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit is acknowledged as a versatile veteran in treating various types of cancers. A qualified MBBS with MD in Medicine and DNB in Medical Oncology.