All cancers are known to be extremely painful and many patients find this pain unbearable than the cancer itself. Giving pain relief is one of the most important treatment methods adopted for all stages of cancer as the pain could worsen with the advancement of cancer.
Pain can also be initiated with treatment methods like chemotherapy and radiation. However, much depends on the individual and his/her ability to withstand pain.
Some people report only mild pain and others report pain that is excruciating and unimaginable. Pain associated with inflammatory breast cancer is not much different from other forms of cancers. Therefore, pain relief is essential at some stages of the disease and treatment.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer And Pain Relief Methods
Assess The Pain
As IBC is different from other forms of breast cancer, the pain too could be either spread or concentrated on a certain area. It is important to assess the pain that you have and when the pain is heightened.
The pain could be felt more on certain times of the day. Record the frequency of the pain and the time of the day you experience it more. This will help the doctor suggest the best medication for you than can control the pain.
The pain that is caused after chemotherapy sessions are different and could vary from mild to severe in patients. Some people might have a higher pain threshold and may experience only a mild pain while others will complain of very bad pain.
Generally, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs like Motrin can help in controlling the pain. Opoid medications too can be tried as an alternative if the pain does not subside with NSAIDs.
Numbness and Burning
Some patients experience a peculiar type of pain which is a shooting or numbing pain. These kinds of pain arise due to nerve damage due to chemotherapy drugs like vinca alkyloids.
Neuropathic pain cannot be treated using opoid drugs and hence alternate options have to be tried in such cases. Your doctor may prescribe anticonvulsants and antiarrhythmic drugs for controlling pain associated with nerve damage.
While undertaking chemotherapy, some doctors prescribe corticosteroids so that the pain can be eased. Sudden stopping of corticosteroids can lead to severe joint pain and must not be attempted. The stopping has to be gradual.
These drugs are also administered to increase appetite in women undergoing chemotherapy. However, pain due to withdrawal is a temporary pain and will go off once the body gets adjusted to the withdrawal of the drug.
Hot and Cold Packs
Certain relief can be attained with the use of hot or cold packs. Radiation treatment might present itself with burning pain which can be treated through the use of ice packs on the area. Application of Aloe Vera gel too helps in cooling the skin and accelerating the healing process.
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Meditation is a holistic way of controlling your mind and relaxing your body so that the sensation of pain is reduced considerably. Meditation will also ease the anxiety and stress levels.