Prostate cancer: Dr Philippa Kaye discusses symptoms
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Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. Symptoms will often depend on what type of cancer it is and how far advanced it is. Pain is often associated with a few types of cancer.
Cancer pain takes many forms. It can be dull, achy, sharp or burning.
It can be constant, intermittent, mild, moderate or severe.
How much pain you feel depends on a number of factors, including the type of cancer you have, how advanced it is, where it’s situated and your pain tolerance.
Pain is another symptom that can be caused by a multitude of health issues, most of which are not cancer, said John Hopkins Medicine.
The health site added: “But persistent pain can also hint at an underlying disease.
“Cancer can cause pain in different ways, including:
A mass or tumour pushing on other areas of your body
The chemicals a cancer releases
Metastasis, or spreading from where a cancer started.”
There are more than 200 different types of cancer, all with varying symptoms.
These four types of cancer, however, can have very similar symptoms, including pain in the abdominal area.
Treatment options to ease pain include:
- Bisphosphonates strengthen bones affected by cancer and reduce bone pain
- Denosumab injections reduce bone pain and the risk of fractures if cancer has spread to the bones
- Steroid tablets can reduce swelling and pain caused by a tumour pressing on a part of the body
- Anti-epileptic and antidepressant drugs can reduce pain caused by nerve damage
- Antibiotics can help if pain is caused by an infection
- Muscle relaxants.
Pain does not feel the same for everyone, said the NHS.
The national health body added: “Describing your pain clearly will help your doctor or nurse find the best treatment.
“Try to explain to them where the pain is, what it is like (for example dull, sharp, burning), how bad it is and when you are in pain.
“It can also help to describe how the pain changes over time and what makes it better or worse.”
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