Pain Management for Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Pancreatic cancer is a reasonably common form of cancer, around the 15th most common. It is also more common in certain countries, mainly Eastern European ones. It is a particularly aggressive form of cancer and often not detected until it is already quite advanced, at which point the disease usually is terminal. However, even when caught early, survival rates after five years are usually only around 20%. Those who suffer from pancreatic cancer generally experience quite a lot of pain.

Medication as Pain Management for Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Whilst the pain associated with pancreatic cancer is still quite moderate, pain management for pancreatic cancer symptoms usually involves simple paracetamol.  In some cases, a low opiate such as codeine could be prescribed as well.  Once the pain becomes more severe, morphine based medication will be prescribed.  These can be administered in a variety of ways, including through a drip, in tablet form, through patches or even embedded in simple lollypops.  Medication can also be prescribed as pain management for pancreatic cancer symptoms for pains in the nerve endings, which is very common in those who suffer from pancreatic cancer.

Alternative Therapies as Pain Management for Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

There are a variety of ways to combat the pain of pancreatic cancer symptoms without resorting to medication.  The main alternative therapy is meditation and relaxation.  Allowing your mind, body and soul to find peace and calmness allows your body to be more comfortable and reduces feelings of pain.  Massage is also often very effective for pain management for pancreatic cancer symptoms.  Much of the pain associated with pancreatic cancer is caused by pressure on the nerves and on the bowel and liver.  Massaging these areas can be very effective in reducing the pain.

One tip that is given to all of those who suffer from pancreatic cancer is to change positions at least every two hours, even when asleep.  It is recommended to set a two hourly alarm at night to allow yourself to change your position.  This relieves the feelings of pressure and associated pain.

Post Operative Pain Management for Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Sometimes, surgery is a viable option for pancreatic cancer.  It is possible to have the full tumour removed, in which case survival rates greatly increase; or to have part of the tumour removed, to alleviate the pain and prolong life.  It is also possible to have surgery to insert a tube into the bowel or the gall bladder, to allow passage.  This last surgery is a relatively simple procedure performed under local anaesthetic and pain medication is generally not required afterwards. 

However, surgery to remove the full or part of the tumour is major surgery and patients will often spend some time in intensive care following the surgery.  Pain from the surgery can be quite severe, and patients are often given a combination of painkillers and anti inflammatory medication to help combat the pain.  Usually, in the initial stages, the painkillers will be morphine based, but will gradually move on to codeine and then paracetamol.

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