Discussing your cancer pain and finding relief

As a cancer patient, your top priority is to survive, so you may not think about mentioning any pain associated with your disease or treatment to your care team. “Many patients aren’t aware of the medications and procedures that can improve their quality of life,” says Salahadin Abdi, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of Pain Medicine. Education and communication are key to ensure you get all of the cancer pain management help you need from your care team. Here, Abdi shares advice for discussing your cancer pain so that you can find relief. Speak up about your cancer pain It’s important to know you’re not alone in experiencing cancer pain. “Pain is very common, even in the early stages of the disease,” Abdi says. He advises patients not to wait to speak up. As cancer progresses, the pain associated with the cancer itself or the treatment becomes more significant. That’s why it’s important to notify your care team early on to ensure a better quality of life.   Include your family in cancer pain management Cancer pain affects not only the cancer patient, but also the patient’s family. Sometimes patients feel as though people don’t believe their pain exists so they feel isolated. “I like when patient and the caregivers come to see me together so that everyone’s on the same page, everyone is educated and understands cancer pain,” Abdi says. In addition, caregivers should stay open to what patients have to say. Showing compassion and just listening to them is part of the healing processes, Abdi says. Communicate your cancer pain management goals When meeting with your cancer...

Discussing your cancer pain and finding relief

As a cancer patient, your top priority is to survive, so you may not think about mentioning any pain associated with your disease or treatment to your care team. “Many patients aren’t aware of the medications and procedures that can improve their quality of life,” says Salahadin Abdi, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of Pain Medicine. Education and communication are key to ensure you get all of the cancer pain management help you need from your care team. Here, Abdi shares advice for discussing your cancer pain so that you can find relief. Speak up about your cancer pain It’s important to know you’re not alone in experiencing cancer pain. “Pain is very common, even in the early stages of the disease,” Abdi says. He advises patients not to wait to speak up. As cancer progresses, the pain associated with the cancer itself or the treatment becomes more significant. That’s why it’s important to notify your care team early on to ensure a better quality of life.   Include your family in cancer pain management Cancer pain affects not only the cancer patient, but also the patient’s family. Sometimes patients feel as though people don’t believe their pain exists so they feel isolated. “I like when patient and the caregivers come to see me together so that everyone’s on the same page, everyone is educated and understands cancer pain,” Abdi says. In addition, caregivers should stay open to what patients have to say. Showing compassion and just listening to them is part of the healing processes, Abdi says. Communicate your cancer pain management goals When meeting with your cancer...