Pain is the most common problem faced by men with metastasized prostate cancer. It is a problem with various causes and many effective solutions.
Cancer pain can be caused by damage to organs, bones, muscles or joints. It can be caused by a tumor that has grown so large that it prevents proper functioning of other parts of the body, such as the digestive system or colon. Cancer also causes pain when a tumor presses against nerves or the spinal cord itself.
If you try to fight pain and tough it out, you will enjoy life less, and will be tired and depressed.
Most cancer pain can be controlled or even eliminated. In its publication, Home Care Guide for Advanced Cancer, the American College of Physicians states that pain can be controlled for 90 to 99 percent of cancer patients.
Control of pain may be as simple as taking aspirin on a regular basis. When pain persists, narcotics, such as codeine, morphine or synthetic versions of them may be prescribed. Most of these drugs take a few days to
become effective. If pain continues, ask your doctor about increasing the dose or changing medicines.
Pain medication falls into two categories: baseline, which provides constant pain relief, and "breakthrough" medication for pain spikes that break through the baseline occasionally. Keep track of how often you take breakthrough medication and why. Mark it in your calendar or keep a pain log.
If breakthrough medication is needed frequently, ask your doctor about increasing the baseline medication or switching to another medicine. If a particular part of your body is hurting frequently, such as your hip, it may be possible to eliminate the pain by other means, such as localized radiation.
Addiction is not an issue when you have advanced cancer. "Saving" pain medication for a really bad bout is unnecessary. "Bad bouts" can be treated with stronger medicines or by other techniques.
Chemical pain medication comes in pills, time-released capsules, and skin patches that last as long as 72 hours.