How to Manage Bone Cancer Pain
If you or a loved one is battling bone cancer pain, you’re likely looking for ways to manage the pain. This can be difficult, as many conventional medicines offer only short-term relief, while others are ineffective altogether. Fortunately, research reveals that several natural remedies can help relieve bone disease pain naturally.
Bone cancer can be very painful. There are many options for pain relief, including medication, radiation therapy, and an innovative treatment called cryoablation.
Why Is Bone Cancer So Painful?
A bone can become too fragile or too dense and develop due to a disruption in its bone cell function. These situations can cause intense pain by irritating the nerves within the bone or by stretching the membrane covering the bone.
Bone Cancer: Pain Medications
Most pain medication for bone cancer can be taken orally in liquid or pill form. Pain medication can also be administered via injections, a patch on the skin, or a rectal suppository.
Your doctor will prescribe the right medication based on how severe and painful your pain is.
Bone Cancer: Moderate to Mild Pain
Your doctor might recommend over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, Motrin, and Advil.
Some side effects of NSAIDs include stomach irritation, bleeding, easy bruising, and kidney damage. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if taken in large amounts.
Bone Cancer: Moderate to Severe Pain
Your doctor will most likely prescribe opioids if you are experiencing moderate or severe pain. Opioids are:
- Vicodin and Anexsia (hydrocodone)
- Roxicodone or Oxycontin (oxycodone)
- Palladone or Dilaudid (hydromorphone)
- Duragesic (fentanyl)
- Dolophine and Methadose (methadone)
Opioids can cause side effects such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
You can reduce these adverse effects by taking additional medications.
Treatments for Burning and Tingling Pain
The best medications to treat nerve-related pain, also known as neuropathic pain, are those that cause tingling, numbness, or burning sensations. Anti-seizure and antidepressants are two examples.
The following anti-seizure medications are used to treat bone pain.
- Neurontin (gabapentin)
- Depakote (divalproex acid)
Antidepressants can have side effects like:
- Dry mouth
The following antidepressants are used to treat bone pain:
- Elavil (amitriptyline)
- Tofranil (imipramine)
- Adapin and Sinequan (doxepin)
- Desyrel (trazodone)
These medicines will require a prescription. These drugs can be used to relieve nerve-related pain. However, they are not meant to cause depression or seizures.
Anti-seizure medications can cause side effects such as:
- Liver damage
Bone Cancer: Pain from Swelling
To relieve joint pain and bone inflammation, doctors often prescribe steroids such as Meticorten and Orasone (prednisone), and Decadron (dexamethasone). Although steroids are effective in relieving this kind of pain, side effects can be severe. These side effects include:
- Fluid retention
- Stomach discomfort and irritation
- Bleeding of the stomach lining
- Increased blood sugar
- Muscle weakness
- Increased risk of infection
Bone Cancer: Bisphosphonate Drugs
Bisphosphonate medication is often used to treat osteoporosis or brittle bone disease. As well as help strengthen weaker bone tissue and relieve pain from cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved two drugs for this purpose: Zometa (zoledronic Acid) and Aredia (pamidronate).
Side effects from bisphosphonates include:
- Symptoms that resemble the flu and cold symptoms
- Stomach and esophageal irritation
Bone Cancer: Radiation Therapy
To treat cancer pain, one should undergo radiation therapy. Doctors can direct radiation therapy at bone tumors to cause them to shrink. Another form of radiation therapy is injecting radioactive substances into the veins of patients. The radioactive substance will travel faster to cancer cells than to normal cells because they grow at a faster rate.
Bone Cancer: Freezing the Pain
Doctors are currently investigating a new way to relieve pain from bone cancer. This involves freezing cancer cells upon contact. This method is known as cryoablation. Doctors direct a thin probe through the skin to locate a bone tumor. The probe is used to place ice on cancer cells and freeze them.
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing pain from bone cancer. You don’t have to suffer in silence.
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Those who have bone cancer pain can successfully manage the symptoms with the right education and planning. They will meet with positive outcomes and achieve a high level of functioning.