Pain management - effective and individual

Some cancer patients suffer from pain when the cancer is diagnosed and two in three patients experience pain as the disease advances. Pain is always subjective and depends on the clinical picture, the location and size of tumours and the applied treatment methods. Therefore, pain management is also always individually tailored for each patient.
 
A cancerous tumour will cause pain when it is compressing the adjacent tissues, spreads to other parts of the body or blocks internal passageways (e.g. blood vessels, intestines, oesophagus, ureter, etc.) In these cases, treatments reducing the size of the tumour such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are also effective in alleviating pain.
 
Analgesics are effectively used in the treatment of cancer pain. It is recommended that pain management is initiated without delay and not to wait for the pain to get worse. Take analgesics according to your physician’s or other professional carer’s instructions. It is preferable to take medications regularly – not only when your pain is at its most intense.
 
WHO’s pain relief ladder is implemented at the Department of Oncology in the management of cancer pain and/or pain caused by treatment to find sufficient relief for every patient. Pain management is first started with a smaller dose. The dose is increased or the given drug is switched to a stronger preparation until a sufficient level of pain management is achieved. Discuss pain management with your physician and other care personnel.
 
Intensive pain is managed with help from the HUS Centre for Palliative Care and Meilahti Pain Clinic, employing a multidisciplinary team of experts in pain management.