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Bone Cancer Pain

When a person has pain related to bone cancer, the pain is often caused by a tumor that is pressing against nerves and other organs near the bone. However, the pain can also be caused by certain treatment methods. Pain medication, radiation, or a nerve block may help relieve or reduce the pain. Alternative treatments for this type of pain include massage, acupuncture, or acupressure.

Bone Cancer Pain: A Summary

Bone cancer pain is a common problem for people with this condition. The pain can be caused by a tumor that is pressing against nerves and other organs near the bone, or pain can be caused by the treatment for bone cancer itself. The patient's doctor or a specialist in pain control can relieve or reduce bone cancer pain in several ways, which include:
  • Pain medicine -- Medicines can often relieve bone cancer pain. Although these medicines may make people drowsy and constipated, resting and taking laxatives can help.
  • Radiation -- High-energy rays can help relieve bone cancer pain by shrinking the tumor. Radiation therapy can be given with or without hormone therapy.
  • Nerve block -- The doctor may inject alcohol into the area around certain nerves around the bone to block the bone cancer pain. This is called a nerve block.

Alternative Treatments to Reduce the Pain From Bone Cancer

The healthcare team may suggest other ways to relieve or reduce pain associated with bone cancer. Alternative bone cancer treatment methods used to manage pain include:
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Other approaches.
The patient may also learn to relieve pain through relaxation techniques, such as listening to slow music or breathing slowly and comfortably.
(Click Alternative Bone Cancer Treatment for more information about alternative treatments for bone cancer pain.)
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Bone Cancer Treatments

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