Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Reduce the Pain Caused by Bone Cancer


People with bone cancer, a disease in which malignant tumors affect the bones, can experience significant pain. There are a number of ways that pain can be reduced. Research continues to lead to newer and better ways of reducing pain, many of them with longer-lasting results.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging



Step One

Learn all you can about bone cancer and the various treatment options. You should know what to expect and understand the new options that are becoming available. Fear tends to increase pain, and knowledge tends to decrease fear. Start gathering information at the Mayo Clinic Web site or the Web site of the American Cancer Society (see "Resources" below).

Step Two

Talk with your doctor and ask questions. Let her know how you feel between visits and talk about your pain levels. Be aware that it may require some experimentation before you and your doctor can decide which methods of pain management work best for you.

Step Three

Get radiation treatments for your pain. As you undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments, your oncologists will typically irradiate some of the surrounding tissue in an effort to reduce or even stop your pain. This is a standard procedure. Sometimes it is not permanent, however. Pain returns in about 30 percent of cases, and in that instance, further irradiation is not an option.

Step Four

Talk to your doctor about some newer forms of pain relief like nerve blocks, radiopharmaceuticals, radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation.

Step Five

Take care of your own early pain needs. Sometimes all that is needed is ibuprofen. Alternative methods, such as massage, acupressure, relaxation techniques or TENS devices, may also work.

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