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pain and how to help with it

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2008

My husband was recently diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread to the bone. Does anyone know what is given to a patient that is in pain. He is not yet scheduled for chemo or radiation. We are waiting for the doctors call to let us know what comes next. There has to be something to make him comfortable. Does anyone have any info?

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006


By the time you get this, you may have very well asked the doctor your question. Hopefully he had some answers for you. Pain relief is VERY important when you are dealing with cancer that has spread. Nobody should have to deal with unrelieved unbearable pain in this day and age. Doctors might not always be able to relieve all of it, but with some experimenting around they should be able to make things tolerable.The best way is to remove the cause of the pain. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can reduce or eliminate tumor growths. That can make the pain go away the best. Over the counter meds like Tylenol or Ibruprofin can work on mild pain. Lots of survivors I know take a Tylenol PM so they can sleep at night. (Lack of sleep makes pain worse.) Stronger drugs like the controlled substances Oxycotin or Morphine help when pain is stronger. Of course they take a prescription and monitoring. Don't be afraid your husband will become addicted to these drugs. That is not a big problem for folks who need these drugs for pain relief. They are not in the same situation as teens trying to get high. The drugs do have some side effects to be aware of. Read labels, call the pharmicist or the nurse for help, or ask here. My husband knows to make sure to get Phillips Milk of Magnesia for me every time they put me on oxycotin or anything stronger for example. I will spare you the details! Some of my friends dealt with pain through yoga, acupuncture, or vigorous activities. A close friend who was into teaching and dance said that sometimes she quit hurting for three or four hours at a stretch when her mind was totally involved in a class. Ask your doctors though before you try any exercise. When cancer is invading a bone, it makes the bones there weaker. If the bone might be broken with vigorous exercise, that's not going to work as a solution. Sometimes medicines that strengthen bones like Fosamax or Boniva are given to cancer patients. When the bones get stronger the cancer takes up less space and causes less pain. That prevents breakage too. Electrical stimulation is another route that helps some folks. And there is music and art therapy. The list goes on and on. There are doctors that are actually pain specialists. They can not only order the drugs needed to maximize quality of life but also suggest complimentary therapies (massage, music therapy, yoga, you name it) to help. If the oncologist you visit isn't into pain management, ask for a referral to a pain specialist. If it going to be very long before you visit your oncologist, call his office now and ask him to call something into the pharmacy. Life is too short to be miserable.

C. Abbott

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2008

Your advice was greatly appreciated. I did put another message like you said on Lung Cancer and got more advice. I will write again soon.

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