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Wednesday, 17.07.2024, 17:17
Main » Mammology » Fighting pain with metastatic breast cancer 
Fighting pain with metastatic breast cancer

Fighting pain with metastatic breast cancer

Many treatments help to cope with one of the manifestations of metastatic cancer - pain. The effectiveness of a method of treatment will depend on the localization of metastases and the extent of their prevalence.

The most effective method of dealing with pain in this situation - it is a direct effect on the tumor. This can be achieved by different types of treatment: radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, target-therapy (Herceptin).

However, so far come to these treatments, or when they will no longer be effective, used painkillers: aspirin, acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, ibuprofen, indomethacin), opioid drugs (narcotics, which include promedol, tramadol, omnopon, morphine, etc.).

In addition, currently used as analgesics group of drugs such as blockers of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). They represent a further improvement of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These include, for example, Celebrex (celecoxib). These drugs do not have many side effects that are characteristic of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as bleeding, effect on the gastric mucosa, etc. However, some drugs from this group, as studies have shown, can cause heart attacks or strokes, so that they no longer apply. Currently, clinical trials of other drugs in this group.

Many patients worry that they can just get used to pain medication. Other women find that, due to prolonged use of painkillers, they no longer have effect when the pain will be really strong. For these reasons, many women tend not to use painkillers. However, it should be noted that the risk of addiction to them is pretty low. Also, if a drug is ineffective, it is necessary to apply a different pain reliever. It is important to understand that the pain relief helps the patient live a normal life and be treated. In addition, pain is one of the psychological trauma to women, which also affects relationships with family and friends.

Like all other drugs, the painkillers may experience side effects. Do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, indomethacin, ibuprofen, and others, it's effects such as thinning the blood (which increases the risk of bleeding), the effect on the gastric mucosa (which is accompanied by abdominal pain, the development of gastropathy, gastritis and even ulcers) . Among the side effects of opioids may be noted, such as fatigue, constipation and nausea. In addition, they can cause dry mouth and disorders of the urinary and respiratory system.

Metastasis of cancer may cause pain and specific.

Pain in the bones

In the presence of metastases in the bone tissue in one - two areas, the best method of influence on them, including possessing and analgesic effect is radiation therapy. The effect of anesthesia during radiotherapy observed in 85% of cases. The effect lasts for a long time. When bone metastases in many areas the most effective use of anti-inflammatory and opioid funds. It also effectively the use of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and target therapy. In addition to this, perhaps a combination of these methods with exposure to radiation of one or more bone metastases that cause the most pain.

Among the methods of radiation therapy is also used intravenous radioactive strontium-89, which is absorbed by bone metastases. In addition, the analgesic effect of denying, and drugs that enhance bone structure - and it Zometa Areda. Sometimes gives a good effect immobilization (immobilization) the patient limb.

Pain in the nerves and headache

Sometimes, metastases may be formed in the nerves. In this case the tumor compresses the nerve, causing pain. Moreover, metastases can grow or compress the brain and spinal cord. Enlarged lymph nodes can also cause pain in the arm or leg with compression of the nerves. Pain in the nerves can also be caused by, and chemotherapy. Taxane drug can cause pronounced pain in hands and feet. The same effect can be associated with the drug Xeloda.

The best analgesic effect can be obtained with a combination of several methods of treatment. Initially appointed by the steroids (eg prednisone), which have anti-edema effect and reduce some pressure on the tissue metastasis. Then in place of metastasis applied radiation therapy.

Another method of treatment of moderate pain, which bothers a woman in any one place, is the use of percutaneous electrostimulators. The principle of operation of this device is that it stimulates the nerve of constant weak electrical signals. As a result, the pain impulse from the site of metastasis is weakened or completely interrupted.

Another method of treatment of pain associated with damage to the nerves, is the introduction of epidural anesthetics (bupivacaine with morphine or clonidine. Perform this procedure is usually the anesthetist. This drug is administered into the epidural space, which is located above the dura mater of spinal cord. These drugs block the nerve impulse from the nerve to the brain, resulting in pain simply ceases to be felt.


Sometimes pain in the bones or nerves of the patients indicated a protective muscular tension, which is accompanied by pain. In this case, we recommend the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and rest for the muscles.

In addition, to facilitate muscle pain are used: muscle relaxants (drugs that relax muscles), massage, local application of heat or cold (heating pad or ice pack), special exercises, acupuncture.

Sometimes muscle pain can be spread throughout the body, which leads to fatigue and general fatigue. At the same time used tricyclic antidepressants, muscle relaxants and massage. In addition, radiation therapy, breast cancer can lead to compaction of the pectoral muscle. To avoid this, the recommended regular exercise, to stretch this muscle.

Abdominal pain

 Constipation can cause abdominal pain and bloating. The cause of constipation can be yourself pain, decreased activity, and patient use of analgesic drugs. The cause of pain in the middle of the abdomen may be enlarged lymph nodes, which squeeze the organs or nerves, or grow them. Pain in the right half of the abdomen often caused by liver metastases. If metastases are present only in one - two areas, it is possible to use radiation therapy. however, in the case of a large area of radiation, radiation therapy is not used because of its side effects.

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