How To Cope With Prostate Cancer Pain
Although prostate cancer may often cause no associated pain, patients with metastasized, recurring or advanced cancer will likely need to learn how to cope with prostate cancer pain on some level. Prostate cancer may lead to ongoing lower back pain or bone pain in the pelvic area. Once cancer treatment commences, these pains are likely to diminish, and yet pain while urinating or passing stool may take their place. Learning how to cope with prostate cancer pain is important to the patient’s comfort and morale. If you or someone you love is struggling to cope with prostate cancer pain, consult the attending physician about the following treatment options.
The various options for coping with prostate cancer pain:
- Over the counter pain medication
- Doctor prescribed pain medication
- Physical therapy for prostate cancer back or bone pain
- Hot or cold compresses
- Acupuncture and pain relieving massage
- Over-the-counter pain medication. To cope with mild prostate cancer pain, patients may take over-the-counter analgesics like aspirin or Tylenol or non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen found in Advil and Motrin. Such medications are inexpensive and non-addictive, offering patients a simple way of coping with prostate cancer pain as the need arises.
- Doctor prescribed pain medication. To cope with prostate cancer pain that remains elevated despite over-the-counter medications, the attending physician may prescribe weak opium-based pain medications like codeine. Such medications are low in side-effects and have been proven effective in coping with prostate cancer pain in patients with mild but unabating discomfort. For more severe pain, the attending physician may prescribe strong opium-based narcotics such as morphine, hydromorphone, fentanyl, oxycodone or methadone.
- Physical therapy and compresses. Kegel exercises geared at strengthening and manipulating the lower back have been found helpful to patient’s coping with prostate cancer lower back pain and bone pain. Hot and cold compresses applied to the painful area before and after physical therapy have also been helpful in soothing or dulling the pain temporarily.
- Alternative therapies. Massage and acupuncture have been found helpful to patient’s coping with prostate cancer pain, either from the cancer itself or from the associated treatments.
- Pain log. Doctors can better assist patients in coping with prostate cancer pain when the nature of the pain is accurately recorded. Patients are encouraged to keep a Pain Log to track the frequency and severity of their pain, as well as possible triggers that initiate or worsen the pain. In addition, the Pain Log should record any prostate cancer pain treatment that helped reduce the pain or cut its duration.
According to cancer specialist, Dr. Timothy Moynihan from the Mayo Clinic, one in three cancer patients will experience some level of pain. In many cases, however, no medication is prescribed. If you or someone you love are coping with prostate cancer pain on their own, let the attending physician know so he may prescribe the appropriate pain-relieving treatment.