How Can I Control My Mesothelioma Pain?
Mesothelioma and its treatment can cause severe pain. But, depending on its cause, there may be effective ways to address it. Some medications may potentially be addictive, but you should keep an open mind to their benefits and how they may improve your quality of life.
What Causes Mesothelioma Pain?
Most mesotheliomas involve the membrane covering the:
- Lungs and chest cavity (pleural mesothelioma)
- Abdominal cavity and organs (peritoneal mesothelioma)
Pain results primarily from fluid buildup and tumor growth in the chest and abdomen.
Fluid builds up between tissue linings, and tumors can occur in either lining. As tumors grow and take up more space, fluid fills up the area. This puts pressure on the chest, stomach, tissue, bones, nerves, and abdominal organs, causing discomfort and pain. As the disease progresses and spreads, it causes more pain where it develops.
Treatment can also cause pain:
- Surgery causes pain during recovery, which could last days or weeks
- Sometimes chemotherapy side effects cause pain in the throat, from mouth sores, digestive problems, and other side effects. Chemotherapy can also result in neuropathy, a tingling, burning, or painful sensation in the extremities
- Radiation damages healthy and malignant cells. Pain can come from injured skin, internal tissue, and organs
Each person responds differently to the disease and treatment. How much pain you feel and where depends on your unique situation.
How is Mesothelioma Pain Treated?
There are different approaches to pain, depending on its cause and how well you respond to efforts to limit it.
Doctors usually start with milder medications. If and when they become less effective, your physician may prescribe more potent painkillers in larger doses. They include:
- Over-the-counter medications, including Tylenol and Advil
- Opioids can be used, such as codeine, oxycodone, tramadol, morphine, or fentanyl. They may be used with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and antianxiety medications
Your physician may discuss a cordotomy for severe, chronic pain that’s not well controlled. It’s surgery that creates a lesion in the spine, which disrupts nerves that send pain signals to your brain. What’s causing the pain continues, but if the procedure’s successful, you may not feel it or not feel it as much.
- Complementary Treatment
These efforts don’t rely on traditional medical approaches to treat pain and can be used along with them. They include:
- Holistic medicine
- Exercise therapy
- Massage therapy
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
Other ways to combat pain include a psychological component. They may not reduce your pain but could improve your ability to tolerate and cope with it. A pain management specialist could help you with meditation, visualization, and breathing exercises. These methods may also help you with the emotional suffering and stress you feel while living with mesothelioma.
Learn About Your Financial and Legal Options
If you have mesothelioma, there’s an excellent chance asbestos fibers caused it. Treatment for mesothelioma and efforts to control the resulting pain can be costly. Contact your health insurance carrier to discuss what your plan does and doesn’t cover so you’ll know what you may need to pay for.
Financial aid may be available through legal avenues. An experienced, knowledgeable Satterley & Kelley mesothelioma attorney may obtain compensation for your asbestos-related injury that may cover the cost of your medical care, pain treatment, and other related expenses.
We help clients like you get the financial help they need. Don’t let mesothelioma financially destroy you and your family while funds are available to compensate asbestos victims. Call us toll-free at 855-385-9532 or complete our contact form to arrange a free consultation.