When life expectancy is 6 months or less, your health care provider may suggest you enroll in a hospice home care program. Members of the hospice team give comprehensive palliative care to you and your family. With your personal guidance, hospice can make the later stage of cancer
Care after treatment for the breast cancer ends: At some point you may decide to stop treatments for the cancer. This can happen when treatment stops showing any benefit or when it greatly affects quality of life. Once treatment for the cancer has stopped, reducing any cancer-related symptoms (called
Issues for family members and other loved ones: Pain can affect the whole family. It's upsetting for family and friends to know a loved one is in pain. In some cases, a person living with pain may become irritable and this may strain family relationships. Social support during
Complementary and integrative therapies (non-drug therapies) for pain There are many non-drug therapies you may choose to use along with pain medications. These include: acupuncture, hot and cold therapy, guided imagery, massage therapy, nutrition, physical therapy, relaxation techniques, yoga. Source: Susan G. Komen 2019 GO BACK
In rare cases, pain can't be controlled by the medications already described or their side effects are too severe. In these cases, an implanted catheter can deliver the medications using a small, computerized pump to the space directly outside the spinal cord (epidural pump) or to the fluid around the spinal cord itself (intrathecal pump).
Port-a-cath or a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) Medications can be given into the vein through a port-a-cath or a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC). These have a portable pump that delivers the medication. Some people get the medication continuously. Others can push a button to release an
There are many ways to take opioid and non-opioid pain medications. Most are pills taken by mouth. For people who have trouble swallowing pills, some medications are available in liquid form or a special tablet or strip that dissolves inside the cheek. A few pain relievers can be
Antidepressants (examples: Amitriptyline (Elavil) Pain relief benefit: Can relieve some neuropathic pain Anticonvulsants (Examples: Gabapentin (Neurontin) Pregabalin (Lyrica) Pain relief benefit: Can relieve some neuropathic pain Steroids (Examples: Dexamethasone (Decadron) Pain relief benefit: Can relieve nerve swelling and bone pain Local anesthetics (Examples: Lidoderm patch (Lidocaine patch) Pain
Many drugs work with pain medications to reduce pain related to metastatic breast cancer. They include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, steroids and local anesthetics. These drugs are only available by prescription. Before taking any of these medications, it's important to discuss their potential side effects with your health care provider.
Health care providers are careful to monitor the amount of opioids they prescribe so you don't take too much. Many providers will fill out a written opioid agreement with you if you are taking opioid medications regularly. If you abruptly stop taking an opioid medication or the dosage