Leukemia Pain Management & Control
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Pain Management for Leukemia
Many leukemia patients arrive at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) experiencing pain from the disease itself or from previous treatments. When unrelieved, pain can interfere with everything in your life, including your appetite, energy level and mood.
Our cancer pain management team will help get your pain under control so you can use your energy to fight the disease, not the pain.
Upon your arrival at CTCA, you’ll meet with a leukemia pain management practitioner to assess your pain using a variety of tools, including pain scales and symptom tracking methods.
Based on this assessment, you’ll receive a personalized plan that will include a variety of cancer pain control methods best suited to you. Your plan will be based on factors like your leukemia treatment regimen, the other medications you are taking and your personal preferences.
Pain Control Methods for Leukemia
Many leukemia patients experience bone or joint pain that results from the bone marrow being overcrowded with leukemia cells. Sometimes the side effects of leukemia treatments can result in pain. For example, some drug therapies and radiation therapy can damage the nerves and cause neuropathic pain.
Because of the complex nature of leukemia-related pain, successful cancer pain management usually involves a combination of techniques. To control pain, your team may use any of the following:
- Medications (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-convulsants, narcotics)
- Nerve blocks
- Pain patches or pumps
- Steroid injections
Throughout your treatment, your leukemia pain management practitioner will reassess your pain and modify your plan accordingly. We really listen to you, so we’re able to understand your pain and take the appropriate steps to manage it.
Balancing Pain Relief With Quality of Life
Sometimes, pain medications can make you feel sedated and fatigued. Your pain management practitioner will adjust your medications to seek a balance between pain relief and quality of life. The goal is to help you achieve cancer pain control so you can fight the disease, while continuing to participate in activities you enjoy.
A Team Approach
Throughout your leukemia treatment, your cancer pain management practitioner will consult regularly with your oncologists and the other members of your CTCA care team to balance pain medicine with supportive options aimed at alleviating pain, as well as other symptoms that contribute to pain.
For example, oncology rehabilitation uses physical therapy, massage and other therapies to improve mobility and reduce pain. Mind-body medicine uses counseling, stress management and relaxation techniques to alleviate symptoms contributing to pain.
Next Topic: Mind-Body Medicine for Leukemia