Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to our Living With Cancer e-newsletter to stay up to date on cancer topics.
Let's explore the concept of pain together. You can experience different types of pain, including pain from the cancer tumor or location of the tumor, or from side effects of treatment (radiation, surgery, and/or chemotherapy).
From my perspective, many people are reluctant to talk about pain with their cancer doctor either because they think it is something they must live with, or they do not want to "bother their doctor" with the question of pain relief.
Pain relief is extremely important and can directly affect your quality of life, ability to move forward in your recovery, as well as your emotional and psychological well-being. Talk to your health care team about your pain. Most cancer centers will have a pain clinic where you can meet with a pain specialist to address your individual concerns.
Investigate other ways to balance your medical treatment plan for pain relief by exploring alternative therapies including:
Much progress is being made related to pain relief for people with cancer, however, more remains to be accomplished. Please share your perspectives on this topic together.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
Follow on Twitter:
Selecting "Submit" signifies that you have read and agree to our posting guidelines.
I have posted something on this blog and would really like to get a answer to my questions if anyone or drs.could answer them.I have tried all of what they say with biofeedback everything the drs told me to do with no help with these problems if you have not gone throught cancer and the pain behind it you can't give any advice.After radiation treatments I have a problem with my stomach I can't even finish dinner because of my bowels I have to go to the restroom or use the barthroom on myself and it is embarassing I don't really don't want to eat but I know I have yo.Where I live it seems like the drs help ppl that have nothing wrong with them but the ones that have problems that are life threathing they seem not to want to help with our psun why is that?My dr said that cancer has a cure and even though my cancer is all over the place I am cured I wish I could get a real and right answer from a doctor who knows .He said even though a person is cut on or rather if you have surgery the cancer Can Not spread to other parts of your body is this True or not please I am.scaredbto death it started in my right lung then it is in my right breast and lymph nodes on my left side.Which is true please if you do hsve the answer let me know he wanted to remove the whole breast but it was me who asked if we could just take the tumor out and do radiation was I right to do that or not?
When I was dignosed with lung cancer on my right side and had half my lung taken out it was like pulling teeth to get my pain under controled.Then when it ran over to my right breast the same thing happened a dr of homopathlic dr told me to get corn starch for the radiation burn on my breast it did not help snd she said that she could not help me with this psin not even ask the oncologist for me.How do you ask a dr or someone to help with the pain afterward because my lymph node under my arm and my breast and lung and chest hurts all the time I am at my wits end cause you ask for help and they say go buy corn starch and the lymph nodes on the right under my srm hurts so bad will corn starch helo with the pain inside my chest,breast ,lung and the pain straight in my back where the removed everything and the pain for my Bones hurt so bad I do not know what to do anymore cause it affects my life so much I can not be a mamaw to my grandkids well really it affectes every part of my life.My shoulders wrists and elbows hurts so much also.Thank You Ellen
I have just found out I have lung cancer in my right lung. I don't know yet what kind but if anyone can tell me what to expect in the near future I would so appreciate it. I am terrified right now of what my future holds. Thanks for any help anyone can tell me.
I have read all the information that are provided here recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
Dr. Carl Balog
For those experienceing discomfort while taking many pills to compensate your chemotherapy. I eventually decided to take a chance of getting busted and went through the process of getting medical marijuana. It helped with my nausia, I began eating more, and I slept better. Shocked at the cost though. Hadn't used it for 40+ years. Then an ounce was $10.00, in 2006 I bought an ounce in Seattle at an above board supplier for $330.00.Much stronger than I remembered. It helped a great deal and I made connections to grow my own. Washington States compasionate law is wonderful.
I survived my 6 months of Chemotherapy. I had Hep C. I did and still do to a lower level experience chemo brain after 2 years of being off of the drugs. I nearly had to quit driving. My wife, until I told her I thought it was cruel, would give me a bad time because I would struggle to complete a sentence. I still have trouble finding the words.I no longer have a problem letting people know of my chemo experience when I have trouble communicating.
I had Prostate cancer can any one tell me if they are having pain. It has been a year and half since the last Rad therapy.
John Michael Talbot music on Youtube has helped me so much. Not much else. Pain meds make me sick and more tired. I love housework and it is difficult to do no.( AGe 64, 4th stg colon CA to the liver.) Problem lately is high B/P-it is driving me crazy. Avastin (chemo med) is causing this. They have doubled my B/P med not helping. I think I am going to stroke before I die of cancer.Opiates have too many side effects, Ibuprophen (4) cuts it for awhile. Good luck to all. Input about getting B/P down?? Thanks
Helpful tip: I have avoided continuing chemo fog and fatigue during my post active cancer treatment phase of survivorship. While taking the aromatase inhibitor drug Arimidex explore taking it at the same time every night. I promise you'll wake up more alert and energized! Another plus is that you won't be reminded of your cancer as you greet each new day.
Question? Doesn't it seem counter-intuitive that women who run the gamut of varying body weights ranging from skinny to obese receive a standard 1 mg dose of Arimidex. During prep for Chemo administration the pre-infusion body weighing in measurement was a key factor in tailoring the Chemo dosing amount and duration timing. In light of that glaring contrast no wonder it feels like "one size fits none".
I have had 5 surgeries on my left arm for removal of Stage I Melanoma & Squamous Cell Carcinoma. That was 5 years ago, but the deep, bruising pain remains. Is this normal? Anything I can do?
Can I make a will out so if I get cancer with bad pain that will allow the doctor to give me any amount of pain medication, even if it would kill me? I would raither be dead than live a few months in terriable pain.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer in11/10 opened my eyes to a new world.I also have uncontrolled epilepsy. The chemo causes me to have more seizures than before. I read the blogs and don't really know what I want to say, but I can say I'm scared to death. My dr told me he hasn't treated a patient with epilepsy for 20 yrs. I was already halfway through my treatment when he said this. Everything was fine up till then but, I am scared about what is going to happen whenn I'm done. My neurologist has told me there is nothing more he can do for me. He hasn't seen me since my breast cancer diagnosis. I feel like I am nothing more than a check. I guess what I'm lookiing for is someone in my position. I tear myself up because of the termoil my husband and daughter go through. Its not fair to them, or me.
I think it nearly 5 years since my lung cancer returned after surgery in less than a year (did not chemo).
I moved to another institution, great people, and am on my 4th round of chemo. This last one (a little more than 3 years now) has kept the cancer stable. But being stable for nearly 3 years starts to make me a little more demanding for a better quality of life (lessside effects from surgery, chemo, and meds.
I would like a little more quality of life but as my GP says "I am on the right side of the grass".
That may be something to think of when complaining about side effects. Not that it will totally stop my complaining but maybe I will think of what my GP says, at least somtimes.
hello cynthia...said june by mistake...not finish my spiel.....
strangers in supernmarkets etc in new zealand approach me ask why chair etc....some also state they had problems too >>by sharing it means they supported or boosted me from the feeling I was the only one & others dont understand when not ''been there done that'' sort of ""walk in my shoes"" before criticise me....life goes on & on....go to falling- rippling water features..an energy source also,find a massage person>>reiki or feldenkrais trained for soft tissue touch,lymph draining expertise,pain relief for body misalignment ...keep a diary or notes in a notebook when the moment is there to record feelings or interaction....light a candle outside, for toxic smoke, & ask your guardian angels for help...they will respond but you have to ask them first.....my garden fairies show as "orbs" on my camera photos to prove they do reside on my property.....having a variety of global friends with various religions giving healing prayers works to healing too....(my specialist say works best than if all of one religion only...true...)....
I was a teacher years ago so do try to research & understand my state & stage as very little finance now to have relief....at 63 years young....lost legs,hair,teeth,fiancee(didnt want to continue when I ill..)so what .
my email is Dorothy.D@xtra.co.nz if anyone wishes to contact as a friend....I spend hours on pc as houseb
hello Frances & June.....2004 I was stage 4,now 2011 I am clear.....perhaps being paralysed from the waist down from the tumor damage they hadnt found was a blessing>>concentration to try get back walking may have had brain ignore my tumor.....the only fear is fear itself>>once get to end point it suddenly becomes calm.
Pain>>>sit at home & suffer pain.... but enjoy oneself & we only feel half the pain (or less)...your choice!In new Zealand we do not legalise cannibis for medical intervention pain relief like Canada does to help sufferers.I understand acupuncture can help some...I dont like needles...had daily for a year while hospitalized & scar tissue now but still wont try acupuncture.I occupy myself with projects & outings summer to view gardens etc as a wheelchair limits one for socializing..access,transport,keen physical helpers lift chair ability.I took up hobby photography as a new interest.Some of my friends are blind over years so I consider being in a 'chair' small price...I can watchtv,pc,read books,see peoples faces like grandkids so I have better "option".....''face the sunshine so you dont see the shadows''...HELEN KELLER quote & picture on passage wall radiation hospital.NZ Burwood spinal unit quote...dont let what you cant do stop you doing what you can do...or such wording...I only got 2 days last year in unit assessing ..... sort myself with helpful strangers advise at supermarkets etc...folks who s
I have Multiple Myeloma, dianosed Sept. 2010.
Have gone through Chemo then Stem Cell trans. Can anyone tell me what I have to look forward to except pain. Is pain all I have? What are my chances in this fight with cancer. I feel my time is short, but not sure.
Wondering if anyone that has Mulitiple Myeloma has had Acupuncture with any success? I am dealing with a great deal of pain and all the doctors can do is give me more drugs. There has to be some other ways. My cancer has come back 5 months after stem cell trans. Pain is incredible, I will listen.
To Dorothy & Cynthia ..... I encountered Breast Cancer in 1997. After having surgery, radiation, chemo, and 5 yrs. of Tamoxafin, I thought the road would be mostly bump-free! In 2005 I was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 metastasis in 4 compressed vertebra. After consulting a pain specialist, I found a regimen that works fairly well for me. Now, there is involvement in 5 vertebra, both hips, and 9 other bones. For nausea I found ginger candy helps before I reach for a "drug". Pain relief comes from a Fentanyl "100" patch, several vitamins and a few pain meds. When I encounter break-thru pain I use a med. called Actiq. It is a pop that you smooth over the inside of your mouth. Using the cheeks and gums works best for me. Within 10 minutes the edge has gone from the pain. I've been on several different chemo concoctions since 2005. I've had only a 4 month vacation from chemo. For bones I also receive a shot called Xgeva every month. Under the circumstances I feel happy with my life. I enjoy family and friends and an "upbeat" attitude works as well as any high priced drug. I use assistance walking when necessary, but I'm here! Sometimes the word paralysis creaps into my mind, but only for an instant, and not often. If I can help in any way, please contact me. Good Luck & Life!
To Dorothy - (I have metastatic breast cancer to the spine/pelvic since 2009.) I am going to try some of your suggestions. After the radiation to the spine & pelvis last year my biggest fear is paralysis. Pain now controlled by narcotics but I also fear the consequences of such long term use of such. Have you used narcotics in the past and if so, did you suffer withdrawal afterwards? I can walk and sit and lay down but all with pain. I am 63 this year - how old are you if you don't mind my asking? Take care of yourself and thank you for your wise post.
spinal tumor non hodgkins lymphoma survivor 6 yrs now...paraplegic T12 dead....from radiation ...can walk with walker support a few steps & momentary weightbear at bench,sink,washing machine etc
I block out the pain..no medication by choice as prolonged use causes need for transplants.....but crises take me over edge...I use crystallised ginger(buy grocery shops) I dissolve a portion of a inch cube in my saliva in my mouth & it goes straight to the inflammation centre.A Hot water bottle at my lumbar area when seated helps immensely too.Emu balm with arnica helps rubbed into back of neck too...lots of fluid & less salt & sugar(cut back not delete all use of salt & sugar)..wheeling manually in my wheelchair is my aerobics....an hours music nature sounds..sea etc is relaxing ,,,banana eaten at night helps sleep....& happy faces & attitudes are a big support...
I have liver cancer. This is the second appearance of cancer in me in almost twenty years. I am on chemo, the pain is so bad everywhere in my body that one of my doctors actually put me through an exam to rule out bone cancer, thankfully I did not have it, I believe in eating well, whole foods, yoga, meditation, and medical cannibis for my pain, lack of appetite, lack of sleep, and anxiety. This is not my first rodeo, so I deeply believe my doctors have done the best for me that they can without intrusive treatments.
My brother was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma after a burst spine, tumour in the spine. He had 6months of chemo, radiation and now going for a MRI. He is always in pain and on Tramaset 2 x 3times a day which does not really help. Heard about planting a device in him to help with the pain ?? Is the pain ever going to go away because to see that pain in his eyes.........what can we do ?
I can't believe that after all these years that PAIN is still an issue for those of us with life-threatening diseases!!!
I spent over $45 for prescription & non-prescription creams to take the pain away from my radiation of my butt & lower crotch area. NOTHING WORKED!!
I keep seeing articles "talking" about pain relief -- but I never see an article giving names of items that actually attack the pain!!!!
Betsy and Judy make excellent points. It's hard for those of us who by personality or occupation are used to putting others first to put ourselves first. I'm realizing that post treatment, I have to remind myself that I need to keep putting myself first.
I was fortunate not to have too much pain during treatment. I started a yoga class for those in treatment and survivors about the mid-point of my chemo and found it helped me immensely. It's the one hour a week I count on focusing solely on myself.
A no cost Cancer "CAM" clinic is now available in Calgary Alberta using Hypnosis. I would love to see others spring up all over this continent.
As a cancer survivor, I can agree totally with Betsy's comments. Lying in a hospital bed not knowing if you will see tomorrow changes one's attitudes on life."what I have gathered is you actually look at life as "Do I really need to deal with people that bring me down?...and if your answer is NO...then leave that baggage at the door and move on down the road without it...life is what you make it, all you have to do is take control." I have tried for the past two years to develop this change in attitude. I would also add "surround yourself with happy people and keep away from negative people". Keeping a positive attitude and staying active helps alleviate the physical pain for me.
I found that if I suggested alternative therapies, my doctor was more than happy to help me. By being proactive in my care, I was able to balance use of narcotics with alternate therapies.
I have gone through my sisters journey with cancer since last June....having not walked in my sisters shoes, I can only give my observations...emotional support is so imperative...but what I have noticed is that, in my sisters case, she held it together just to get through treatment and never dealt with her emotions....now that treatment (for the most part) is over she is having some issues with her feelings...being that her and I are firm believers in support groups...she was able to hear from several survivors how important it is to get emotionally stable...I feel in order to move forward you have to get yourself straight and moving in the right direction...one on one counseling....support groups...realizing that it is important to put yourself on "high" priority...and finding out what makes you happy...not what makes everyone else happy...for a women, that is a mindset that is difficult...especially when your a wife and/or mom...you are always putting yourself last....and when they say once you have had cancer, your life will never be the same...what I have gathered is you actually look at life as "Do I really need to deal with people that bring me down?...and if your answer is NO...then leave that baggage at the door and move on down the road without it...life is what you make it, all you have to do is take control.
My experience indicates a greater number of narcotic prescriptions are being written without any suggestions to explore the other options noted. This has resulted personally in needing stronger doses.
Anything that takes the mind off pain helps. I am glad to see you put music and aromatherapy on the list -- sometimes, little distractions can make a big difference.
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Proceeds from website advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse non-Mayo products and services.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.