Reasons for not receiving adequate treatment for cancer pain
- Reluctance of doctors to ask about pain or offer treatments. Some doctors may not specifically ask about pain which should be asked during every visit. Doctors should deal with the issues and offer pain relief management. Your doctor might refer you to a pain specialist for proper pain treatment.
- Reluctance of patients to speak up about pain. Some people refused to speak up about their pain as they might not want to bother their doctors with the information. Also, they fear that pain means that their cancer is getting worse. Some patients also might feel that it’s normal to have pain because of the cancer. That simply isn’t true.
- Fear of addiction People tend to believe that pain relief medications will lead to addiction. If you take them when you are not in pain or to get high, there is chance of getting addicted. But this does not directly apply to people who take them for pain relief. The risk of addiction for patients who take pain relief medications is there but the benefits of taking the medication in terms of pain relief and better quality of life outweigh the risks.
- Fear of side effects. People are afraid of being drowsy, being unable to communicate with family, acting oddly and being seen as dependent on medications. Besides that, people are anxious that taking morphine may shorten their life. However, if the medications are dosed properly, there is no evidence of any of these happening. Strong pain medications can cause drowsiness at first, but side effects wane with steady dosing.
Prepared by: Dr Thiruselvi Subramaniam Helped by IMU students: LEE RUEY-YI, CHONG SHWEN NEE, SIVASANGGARI A/P SELVANATHAN, VIDHYA A/P VIJAYAN