With compassionate care and effective pain management, most people can be kept relatively comfortable and clear-headed, free to enjoy the company of family and friends.
Pain can affect all aspects of quality of life. People in pain may experience a decrease in their level of daily activity, disruption in sleep, decreased appetite, deterioration of interpersonal relationships, even immobilization. Pain can be an overwhelming and all-consuming experience for people and their loved ones.
People may feel a sense of helplessness and deep hurt in seeing their loved ones suffer. Suffering is experienced by the whole person and includes physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life. Suffering is usually linked with physical pain, but it can be anything that threatens the intactness of a person.
To achieve good pain and suffering management people can to work closely with medical professionals to be informed and actively involved in the different methods of treatment.
Despite recent advances in understanding and managing pain, many people with cancer experience pain. They may assume that pain and cancer go hand-in-hand and is inevitable. Some may not want to distract from treating the cancer, or they may view talking about pain as complaining. There may be concerns about addiction particularly for opioid drugs.
Experts have been fighting these misconceptions for years; cancer pain can be effectively controlled in many cases. People are getting knowledgeable about options for controlling pain and how to access services available for managing pain. Experts stress that few people who take pain medications for cancer become addicted.