Doctors and patients alike will agree that mesothelioma is a painful form of cancer. The amount and placement of pain a patient experiences is related to the type and location of his or her mesothelioma. More than 50 percent of pleural mesothelioma patients suffer from chest pain, while many peritoneal mesothelioma patients have pain in the abdomen. In addition to the pain caused by the actual cancer, patients must also content with pain caused by surgery and treatments. Managing mesothelioma pain is vital to improving the quality of life for mesothelioma patients.
There are a number of medications that are often used to ease mesothelioma pain, including opioids like hydrocodone, codeine, or morphine. However, according to an article in Oncolink, many patients turn away from these pain medications out of fear of side effects, which may include sleepiness, cognitive skill disruption, inability to participate in normal activities, fatigue, and diminished appetite.
However, according to the article in Oncolink, the “zombie” impression many cancer patients have of the changes brought about by pain medication side effects is actually very rare. Not taking pain medication when needed can weaken the patient and make it more difficult for them to focus on staying as healthy as possible and fighting their disease. Most mesothelioma patients actually function better on pain medications.
If you are taking a pain medication to help with mesothelioma pain and are struggling with negative side effects, be sure to let your doctor know. He or she may change your dosage, change the way you take the medicine, or change the drug itself. There is no reason for a mesothelioma patient to feel extreme pain.