A cartoon image of a doctor handing a patient a book

Pain relief when you have cancer

If you have cancer, living with pain can be difficult. But it’s possible to find ways to prevent and relieve your pain. This video shares some ways to help you manage and cope with pain while living with cancer.

Pain relief when you have cancer

[Four people appear on screen looking worried.]

Narrator: Many people who have cancer worry they will have pain. And if you're already in pain, you know it can be hard to cope.

[The narrator, a doctor, appears on screen.]

Narrator: But you don't have to suffer. Part of my job as an oncologist is to work with you to find ways to prevent and relieve your pain.

[One of the people in the first scene reappears, followed by three images: a test tube to represent medical tests, medication to represent treatments and the outline of a body with points to show the types of emotional and physical pain a person can feel.]

Narrator: Cancer pain can be from the cancer itself or from medical tests or treatments. It can be physical, emotional or both. Everyone experiences pain differently. 

Pain can be mild to severe and last a short or long time. Only you know how much pain you feel and how it affects you.

[The same person is sitting down and filling in a pain diary. They then pass the diary to their doctor to help create a pain relief plan just for them.]

Narrator: A diary can help you keep track of when and where you have pain, and how it feels.

[Your healthcare team can use this information to create a pain relief plan just for you.]
A successful plan often involves using more than one method to manage your pain.

[Three scenes appear of people doing physical treatments that can help you feel better: one person is getting a massage, one person is doing yoga and the third person is walking their dog.]

Narrator: Physical treatments can make you feel better. Yoga and gentle stretching can also relieve pain.

[The scene shows one person meditating as an example of an activity that can reduce stress. Another person reads a book in the park as an example of using distraction to cope.]

Narrator: Mind-body or psychological activities like meditation can help you feel less stressed and more relaxed. Distracting your mind from the pain can also help you cope.

[A pharmacist appears on screen and gives pain medication to the person.]

Narrator: Your doctor might also prescribe you pain medicine. There are different medicines for the different types and causes of pain.