Managing treatment-related pain

Emmanuelle Manck
07/24/2017
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Institut Curie offers a variety of solutions to reduce pain caused by certain medical procedures and treatments required by a cancer patient.
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Insertion of an intravenous catheter or of urinary or gastric probes, dressings, punctures, stitches, positioning during some treatments: during the course of cancer treatment, some procedures or exams can cause temporary pain. The physicians and caregivers at Institut Curie use various methods to prevent pain.

Effective medications to prevent discomfort

Various medications can be administered to the patient before or during a painful procedure, for example:

  • Rapid-action oral analgesics, in cream, spray or gel form, or for subcutaneous injection.
  • Local anesthetics, in cream, spray or gel form, or for subcutaneous injection.
  • Nitrous oxide, to be inhaled through a mask, with pain-relieving and anxiety-reducing properties.

Soothing pain gently

Institut Curie also uses non-drug pain-relief methods, both tried-and-true and innovative:

  • Cold pack application, which has well-known pain-relieving properties.
  • Attention-distraction methods.
  • Touch and massage, a gentle counter-stimulation technique that aims to reduce pain and increase patient comfort.
  • Transcutaneous electrical neuro-stimulation, which uses small electrodes placed on the skin to reduce the acuteness of the pain message sent to the brain. A session may be offered in anticipation of movement or painful positioning, and if the patient is already using this technique, to manage chronic pain.

Combination with hypnosis, also used at Institut Curie for its relaxing and pain-relieving properties, may also improve the patient’s treatment experience.

Crédit photo : Alexandre Lescure / Institut Curie

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