Managing Pain Related to Bone Cancer

Updated at: Jan 10, 2014
Managing Pain Related to Bone Cancer

Bone cancer pain: Read about Bone cancer pain. The most common and frequent symptoms of bone cancer are pain and swelling in the affected area and its side effect of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, pain is a common occurrence for patients with bone c

Pratima Sharma
CancerWritten by: Pratima SharmaPublished at: Apr 03, 2011

Bone cancer can initiate a number of psychological and chemical reactions in the body which may cause acute pain to the patient. Pain receptors are nerve endings, triggered by chemical, thermal or mechanical signals. In bone cancer, pain can be caused by blocked blood vessels, bone fracture, infection, inflammation, tumour, emotional stress, and side-effects from treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Since this pain raises related symptoms such as an increased heart rate, and breathlessness and sweating, it is imperative for every patient to manage bone cancer pain effectively.


Studies confirm that 90 per cent of  patients suffering from bone cancer suffer from severe pain and 50 per cent are undertreated for the condition altogether. In cases where patients suffer from a chronic condition of pain, it interferes with the proper functioning of body parts, their quality of life and also reduces the  treatment’s effect. Breakthrough pain is observed in patients who undergo treatment for bone cancer,  such as when they walk or cough, and it can be triggered irregularly.


For controlling and managing pain related to bone cancer, you can follow these steps.

  • Inform your physician about the condition in detail. The physician may prescribe drugs to control the pain. When patients are unable to handle and manage pain related to bone cancer, it interferes with the treatment as well. You should tell the physician the exact location of the pain and what seems to trigger it. Once you take treatment for the pain, communicate to the doctor about the its effectiveness.
  • Early detection and treatment for pain is the best way to manage bone cancer pain. Do not skip doses of painkillers until you have complete relief.
  • Try complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massages, yoga, meditation, guided imagery or deep breathing to manage bone cancer pain.
  • Maintain a healthy diet which helps to provide the required nutrition to fight inflammation and infection. Protein is needed for the re-growth of damaged tissues and cells. Increase your intake of protein and take plenty of water to prevent constipation. Try to add more fibre to your diet and limit your intake of sodium as it interferes with the process of calcium retention in the body. In addition, dietary supplements can be taken to fulfil the nutritional requirements of the body.
  • You can use devices such as walkers or grab bars to prevent hurt and pain caused by bone cancer. These devices tremendously help in reducing pain during walking or moving.

Experts at Cancer Treatment Centres of America (CTCA) affirm that unrelieved pain in bone cancer patients can lower the quality of their life substantially. A host of other methods such as therapeutic approaches and emotional counselling can be sought to diminish cancer-related pain. To successfully manage bone cancer pain, it is important to integrate numerous techniques into the bone cancer treatment plan.




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