Liver Cancer Pain Management & Control
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Pain Management for Liver Cancer
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), pain management is an integral part of a liver cancer patient’s overall treatment plan. Our pain management practitioners take as much time as needed to understand your condition. We assess your pain using a variety of tools, including pain management scales and symptom tracking methods. Our goal is not only to relieve your liver cancer pain so you can receive cancer treatments free from the distraction of pain, but also to help improve your overall sense of well-being and quality of life.
Pain is subjective. It affects each person differently, depending on a variety of factors. You may experience pain from the liver cancer itself, or as a side effect of cancer treatment. Many patients arrive at CTCA experiencing side effects from previous treatment. Your pain management practitioner will develop a customized pain control plan based on the other medications you are taking, and the medications that have worked in the past, if any.
Throughout your care, your pain management practitioner will constantly reassess your pain. We use a pain management scale, which tells us how you function throughout the day. Then, we alter your treatment regimen accordingly.
What Causes Liver Cancer Pain?
If you have pain, the severity and prevalence of your pain may depend on many factors, including the type and stage of liver cancer, your treatment plan, and your tolerance for pain. You may experience pain from liver cancer itself, or as a side effect of cancer treatment. Liver cancer pain may result from:
- A tumor putting pressure on tissues, bones, nerves or organs
- Poor blood circulation because the cancer has blocked blood vessels
- Blockage of an organ or tube in the body, such as the kidneys or bladder
- Side effects of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or other cancer treatments
- Metastasis – cancer cells that have spread to other sites in the body
- Pain that is completely independent from cancer or cancer treatment (e.g., headaches, backaches, muscle strains, arthritis, or other common pains)
A Team Approach to Treating Pain
The CTCA pain management team is also fully integrated with the other disciplines offered at the hospital. In addition to medication, your pain management regimen may include one or more of our supportive therapies:
- Naturopathic medicine uses natural therapies to help you combat pain.
- Oncology rehabilitation plays a key role in pain management by using a variety of physical therapy and other techniques to improve mobility and trigger the release of endorphins, which are the immune system’s natural defense against pain.
- The mind-body medicine team is available to teach you relaxation tools to help you manage pain, and to reduce the anxiety and fatigue related to cancer or cancer treatment.
For liver cancer patients staying at the hospital, “Comfort Rounds” are conducted twice weekly. During these visits, pain management practitioners thoroughly evaluate your current pain level and success of your current treatment approach, and make any necessary modifications. With careful diagnosis and a combination of pain management methods, we strive to control your cancer-related pain while maintaining your quality of life.
Next Topic: Mind-Body Medicine for Liver Cancer