Cancer Pain Management Options

The team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers understands that cancer treatment can often result in discomfort, but there are options for that, while being smart about the use of medications and pain relief techniques. If you are experiencing pain, tell your team at Comprehensive. You are the only person who knows exactly how much pain you are feeling.

The practice offers the following tips to help you better manage pain, while closely working with your care team to stay in healthy physically, mentally and emotionally.

Keep a Pain Diary

Documenting what’s going on with your pain can help you gain control, by being able to provide your physicians with the most specific details possible. Writing about the pain you feel can help your cancer care team come up with the best pain management plan for you:

  • Describe the pain in descriptive word such as dull, sharp, throbbing, burning or shooting. Don’t feel like you’re being a problem or high maintenance with pain, share every word that comes to mind.
  • Include details on what eases the pain. If medicines help, note which ones you’re taking and how often, and how well they work.
  • Rate your pain, using a 0 to 10 rating scale (0 = no pain; 10 = worst pain) with notations on when pains is A. At its worst. B. At its best. C. How pain is most of the time.

Talk to Your Health Care Team

The physicians and advanced practice providers at Comprehensive Cancer Centers are unified in their mission to help you get through your treatment successfully, and this includes managing pain.

Talk to your medical team about the pain you experience, and find out your options for pain relief. Always let everyone on your team (doctors, family) about any new or worsening pain. New and changing pain might be a sign that the cancer has spread or an infection has started.

If you continue to have pain that persists, the team at Comprehensive can refer you to a pain management physician for further evaluation.

Non-Opioid Medications for Cancer Pain

Non-opioids can help control mild to moderate pain and can sometimes be bought over the counter without a prescription. These medicines, which include acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are more effective at controlling pain than some people realize. In addition, different types of medicines, including antidepressants, antihistamines and even steroids, can be used along with (or instead of) opioids and non-opioids to help relieve cancer pain.

If you use vitamins, herbs, or other supplements you get at the drug store, be sure to include them in your tracking efforts. Document all of them and let your oncologist know about them. Even though they’re not prescriptions, and are even touted as natural or organic, they may have side effects or cause issues with other medicines you may also be taking.

Learn About Non-Medical Treatments for Pain

Non-medical treatments can help treat cancer pain and can be used along with pain medicines, or alone for pain or discomfort. Talk to your cancer care team, who may refer you to social workers, physical therapists, psychologists, nurses or others to help you learn these techniques. Ask your family or friends for help, too.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for cancer including: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and clinical research. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.


The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.