Cancer pain is a broad term for the different kinds of pain people may experience when they have cancer. Even people with the same type of cancer can have different experiences. The way cancer pain is managed depends on the cause, but relief is still possible even if the cause is unknown.
It is important to tell your treatment team straight away if you have pain. Many people think they need to put up with a certain amount of pain, or wait until it gets worse, but this is not the case. Managing pain early is important.
Learn more about cancer pain
Ask your treatment team
Some cancer and treatment, such as surgery, can be painful but uncontrolled pain is not normal. Always speak to the doctor about your options for pain relief. Your treatment team can help you to find the best way to manage your pain.
Health professionals you might see
When you visit a service there are a range of health professionals you may see. There could also be other health professionals you see at this service that are not included below.
Pain medicine specialist
Treats all types of pain, particularly ongoing pain or pain that is difficult to control.
Questions to ask about this service
When looking at a service it is important to ask questions about how the service works before you decide to engage with them. Below is a list of questions you might like to ask when enquiring about a service.
Am I eligible?
Some services have specific criteria that a person must meet before they are able to use a service, for example location, means testing or a specific cancer type. It is important to know if you are eligible to access a service right from the start.
Do I need a referral?
Some services require a referral from your specialist, GP or a social worker. This helps to make sure that the right patients are being connected with the right services. It’s a good idea to ask if a referral is needed and if so, exactly what type of referral the service requires.
How much will this cost me?
Some services are free, and some come at a cost. At a time when people should be focused on their treatment and recovery, the cost of cancer can be a source of stress and worry for many. It’s a good idea to ask about the fees attached to a service and if there are any subsidies or benefits you might be eligible for before committing to the service. It’s important to know that you are within your rights to ask about the cost of a service or treatment before agreeing to take part. For more information you can visit cancer and your finances.
Is there a wait time?
Sometimes demand for a service is high which can cause wait times. You might find it helpful to ask if there are any wait times for the services you are looking at, especially if you require support as soon as possible.
What services do you offer?
Some organisations provide a range of services for people affected by cancer, their family, friends and carers. It is a good idea to ask about exactly what services are available to you.
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