Chemotherapy can cause some side effects that can be painful. The drugs can damage nerves, leading to burning, numbness, tingling or shooting pain, most often in fingers or toes. Some of the drugs can also cause mouth sores, headaches, muscle pains, and stomach pains.

Not everyone receiving chemotherapy or who have cancer experience pain from the treatment or disease. But, if you do, it can be relieved. Itís important that you tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain. Explain to them where it is, what it feels like (ex. throbbing, stabbing, dull), how often you get it, if anything relieves it, etc. Itís also useful to use a scale to describe the intensity of it. 0 being none, and 10 being the worse. There are many different medications available to help control pain.

Here are a few suggestions that can help:
  • If your pain is consistent or chronic, take your pain medication on schedule when youíre supposed to. Donít skip doses. If you wait until you have pain to take, itís harder to control.
  • Try using relaxation exercises at the same time you take your pain medication. This may help to lessen tension, reduce anxiety, and manage the pain.
  • Some people experience pain in short intervals. If you experience this type of pain, use a short-acting medicine ordered by your doctor. Donít wait for the pain to get worse. If you do it may be harder to control.
  • It may be difficult, but try staying preoccupied. If youíre in too much pain that youíre unable to move around, chat with family and friends, watch a movie or t.v. to keep your mind occupied on something other than the pain.
  • As always tell your doctor or nurse when you are experience any kind of pain.

The information on this web site is provided for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are familiar with your individual medical needs. The MSCF disclaims all obligations and liabilities for damages arising from the use or attempted use of the information, including but not limited to direct, indirect, special, and consequential damages, attorneys' and experts' fees and court costs. Any use of the information will be at the risk of the user.

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