Controlling Pain in Cancer

OncoLink
Last Modified: January 7, 2013

Question

My mother had advanced lung cancer and is starting to have significant pain. She is very hesitant to take anything – she says she doesn't want to be an addict. I am pretty sure that is not a reasonable fear, but I am not expert. What are the facts?

Answer

Suzanne Walker CRNP, MSN, AOCN, Nurse Practitioner for Thoracic Malignancies at Penn Medicine responds:

I would further explore your mother's concerns about addiction. What makes her feel that way (ie, a previous personal experience)? The percentage of patients with cancer pain who develop a true addiction is very small. When I discuss this with my patients, they usually feel more comfortable with starting pain medications.

Learn more about pain management in this I Wish U Knew video about Pain management.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on Lung Cancer Webchat.

Blogs

I've Come a Long Way Baby!
by Donna-Lee Lista
February 26, 2014

In Celebration of Eric Ott
by Bob Riter
August 17, 2015