Men battling prostate cancer may experience a large variety of symptoms from their cancer, as well as possible side effects from surgery, medicine, or other treatments. Sometimes, these patients experience localized or widespread pain during or after treatments.
However, you don't have to suffer with pain. There are many options, both medicinal and otherwise, that are available to provide relief and lessen the negative impact that pain can have on your quality of life. In fact, alleviating pain leads to more rest, better nutrition, and better overall health, which can help with the fight against prostate cancer.
First, it is important that you are honest with yourself and your physician about the severity and frequency of their pain. Often, men downplay their symptoms to others and assume that pain is a sign of weakness. This is far from the truth. Understand that managing pain is a normal and vital part of an overall cancer treatment course.
Only you can say exactly how much pain you are experiencing, and this information is critical to managing it effectively. There are many physicians in a variety of disciplines that specialize specifically in pain management. These specialists can be consulted at any time. Occasionally, psychologists or social workers will also be a part of the pain management program.
When describing pain to your doctor, be specific about the intensity (how badly does it hurt), the duration (how long does it hurt), and the frequency (how often does it hurt). A very common rating system for intensity of pain includes a scale from 0 to 10, and should be used whenever the intensity changes, such as after a treatment.
Paying attention to pain will help you and your doctor figure out how your body is responding to the prostate cancer itself, as well as cancer treatments. It is much easier to treat pain and provide significant relief if pain management is started early, at the onset of symptoms, and also as soon as it is needed between doses. If you wait to deal with your pain, it can often become worse and therefore more difficult to treat.
Make sure you know all of the potential issues associated with your chosen treatment option. For instance, many pain medications cannot be taken with certain other medications, so your doctor will need to know about any prescriptions or other medications being taken. Also, many pain medications need to be taken at the same time of day or with food, or may cause significant side effects. It is important to thoroughly understand the method required for taking the medicine and the potential issues that may come along with it.
Finally, it is important that you keep in mind that a pain management option can be changed at any time if it is not working well for you. This can be due to an insufficient dosage, interactions with other medicines, serious negative side effects, a demanding schedule, or many other reasons.