Pain is a common side effect of cancer and its treatments. Some chemotherapy drugs may cause muscle or joint aches. They may also cause numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes (called peripheral neuropathy). There are many ways to relieve pain, including medicines, integrative therapies, and home remedies. The following information helps explain what patients can do and what to tell the doctor.
Tell the doctor or nurse the following information:
- How long the pain lasts
- How strong the pain feels
- Any new pain that develops
- What eases pain and what makes it worse
- What the pain feels like—sharp, dull, throbbing, steady
- What pain medicines you take and if the medications work
- Where the pain starts
What patients can do:
- Apply a heating pad or ice pack to the painful area as directed by your health care team.
- Do not skip doses of pain medicine.
- Take pain medicines as prescribed.
- Try deep breathing and meditation to relax. This may help reduce anxiety and manage pain.
- Talk with your health care provider about acupuncture as a way to relieve pain. Watch our video or call or visit HCI's Wellness-Survivorship Center for more information about this treatment.
- Use distractions such as music, hobbies, and movies to keep from thinking about the pain.