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Living With Cancer - Recurring Cancer

Living With Cancer: What is it, diagnosing cancer recurrence, treatment and palliative care. | KKH

Living With Cancer - Recurring Cancer - Symptoms

Living With Cancer - Recurring Cancer - How to prevent?

Living With Cancer - Recurring Cancer - Causes and Risk Factors

Living With Cancer - Recurring Cancer - Treatments

Treatment Of Cancer Recurrence

The treatment that is recommended by your doctor for cancer recurrence depends on the type of cancer, its size and location, your general health, and other treatments you have already had for the original cancer.

It is very important that you ask your doctor about the treatment. You need to understand why one treatment is being recommended over others. You need to understand the benefits, risks, side effects, cost of treatment, and the possible impact of the recommended treatment on your quality of life.

These are some of the questions you may wish to ask your doctor about treatment.If you obtain answers to these questions, you and your doctor will be able to make the best possible decision about which treatment is best for you.

  • What are you hoping that this treatment will do for me? Will it cure me, will it shrink the tumour or will it just relieve my symptoms?
  • Why do you think that this treatment is the best for me? Are there other possible treatments? What are they?
  • What are the side effects of this treatment? Are they temporary or are they permanent?
  • How will I know that this treatment is working?
  • Will I need to stay in hospital?
  • How much will this treatment cost?
  • How long will I be on this treatment?
  • What will happen if I do not have this treatment?

What If I Have Pain?

Not everyone with cancer has pain. However, pain can occur at any stage of the disease. It is important to remember that, if there is pain, there are many ways to relieve it.

Cancer pain usually occurs because the growing tumour presses on the surrounding tissues. Therefore, if the cancer is causing your pain, your doctor may recommend surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy to remove or shrink the tumour.

You may also need pain medication to relieve the pain. There are many different types of pain medication. Different pains require different types of medicine. This is why your doctor will often prescribe a combination of medicines for your pain.

Most pain can be controlled with medicines that are taken by mouth. Medications like paracetamol (Panadol), non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen (Synflex) and opioids such as codeine or morphine are commonly used.

However it is not always necessary to take pain medications by mouth or by injection. Fentanyl, a strong pain medicine which should only be used if prescribed by your doctor, is available in a small adhesive patch, which is placed on the skin. The medicine is absorbed through the skin. The patch is replaced every third day.

Sometimes medications that are normally used for other conditions, are used to treat pain. For example, anti-depressant medications or anti-epileptic medications can also help nerve pain that has tingling, burning or shooting quality. If your doctor prescribes these medications, it does not mean that you are depressed or likely to have epileptic fits.

Pain medicine works best if taken before the pain becomes severe. This is why your doctor will recommend that you take your medicine at regular intervals, not just when the pain returns.

Your doctor needs to know as much about your pain as possible. These are some of the questions you will be asked about your pain:

  • Where exactly is your pain? Does it move from one place to another? Have you more than one pain?
  • How does the pain feel? Is it dull, sharp, aching, burning? Try to describe the pain as clearly as possible.
  • How often does the pain occur? What seems to make the pain start? Is the pain related to specific activities such as eating, walking, passing motion?
  • How long does the pain last?
  • Does anything seem to make the pain better?
  • What medication have you already used for this pain? Did it help?

Living With Cancer - Recurring Cancer - Preparing for surgery

Living With Cancer - Recurring Cancer - Post-surgery care

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