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Pain Control for Cancer Patients

For cancer patients, early and aggressive treatment of acute pain helps prevent chronic pain. Pain is a "vital sign" and every time you are examined, your oncologist or nurse should ask you to rate your pain status and should act on the information.

Pain Control A Guide for People with Cancer and Their Families from National Cancer Institute (NCI) . EASY TO READ info about pain control methods, medicines for cancer pain, and non-drug treatments for cancer pain.

Pain Control: A Guide for People with Cancer and Their Families American Cancer Society

Pain Control, Dispelling the Myths from Hospice Net

listen to audio webcastListen, audio webcasts! opens in Windows Media Player or Quicktime, etc.

Both from Patient Power talk show webcasts at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Advanced Cancer and Preserving Quality of Life dates from January 2008. Leukemia survivor Andrew Schorr talked with patient with advanced lung cancer and with M. D. Anderson's Donna Zhukovsky, M.D. about how a palliative care team works with each patient to increase quality of life by increasing function and decreasing negative physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatment.

Pain & the Cancer Patient dates from April 2008. Leukemia survivor Andrew Schorr talked with M. D. Anderson's Dr. Allen Burton, who runs M. D. Anderson's Pain Center, where a team helps people get the most out of life as they recover from surgery or radiation and fight the effects of cancer. What Schorr learned is that a Pain Center has many tools to help, but you do have to speak up. There's no reason to suffer nor worry about whether pain pills could lead to an addiction. Dr. Burton talks about how debilitating pain can be and says patients shouldn't just have to cope with it. People deserve modern interventions that have been proven to help. He talks about neuropathy from chemo, post-surgical pain, phantom pain, and other chronic pain. More on pain control from mdanderson.org

Partners Against Pain is an alliance of patients , caregivers , and healthcare providers working together to alleviate unnecessary suffering by leading efforts to advance standards of pain care through education and advocacy.

Pain and advanced prostate cancer
The Prostate Cancer Charity, UK

The information on this page comes from their Tool Kit fact sheet on pain and advanced prostate cancer. To order your own tailored copy of the Tool Kit, visit their publications page . You can also download and print a PDF version of this fact sheet.

Available Treatment Options for Pain in Elderly Cancer Patients A review in Doctor's Guide, September 2003. Requires Registration (free)

Manejo del Dolor por Cáncer

This content is provided by the WHO Collaborating Center in Supportive Cancer Care, Pain Research Group, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Relieving Pain -- Do it Yourself Guide Forthright. By UK physician and futurist Dr Patrick Dixon MA MBBS

Cancer Control Journal: Palliative Care In Oncology Issue Excellent set of professional articles on cancer palliative care.

American Pain Society Educational and scientific organization dedicated to serving people in pain. Resources for Pain Patients and Professionals.

Alliance of State Pain Initiatives

American Academy of Pain Management helps you search for a program by zip code.

American Academy of Pain Medicine

Constipation from Pain Medications

Dr. Lynn Webster, Lifetree Clinical Research and Pain Clinic, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, said at a pain conference in May 2006: "Millions of people worldwide take opioids chronically to treat moderate to severe pain and about half of them will suffer from associated constipation, abdominal pain, discomfort and bloating. Constipation can lead to serious complications and in some cases can be life threatening. Often patients cannot receive enough opioid to manage their pain due to constipation."

FDA approved Entereg in 2008

Reporting findings from a Phase 2 trial of Enterge (alvimopan), Lynn Webster said it "may play a role in treating these GI side effects in patients by blocking the effects opioids have on the gut without adversely impacting the effect on pain control."


The National Lymphedema Network provides education and guidance to lymphedema patients, health care professionals and the general public by disseminating information on the prevention and management of primary and secondary lymphedema.

CircAid Medical Products Velcroadjustable compression therapy "for Lymphedema, Venous Disease, and Swollen Limbs." These replace elastic stockings. Elastic stockings have a disadvantage -- you put them on tight, and if the swelling reduces, they become loose, then the swelling expands... and it's a trouble adjusting them off and on all day. CircAids (patented) use Velcro, easier to adjust. Expensive, but may be covered by health insurance. Be aware that edema of prostate cancer may arise from causes such as urinary retention that may require immediate, emergency medical care. Talk to your doctor about edema, don't treat it as a minor problem.

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Compiled and edited by J. Strax, last updated May 2, 2009

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