Not all forms of cancer or cancer treatment cause pain. If pain
occurs, many treatments are available to relieve it. If your doctor has given you instructions or medicines to treat pain, be sure to
follow them. Home treatment may help to reduce pain and improve your physical
and mental well-being. Be sure to discuss with your doctor any home treatment you may use.
For more information, see the topic Cancer Pain.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try an over-the-counter medicine to help
treat your fever or pain:
Heat and cold packs, to relieve painful
areas of the body. Do not use heat or cold on skin that is tender from radiation treatment.
Distraction, which can help you focus your attention on something other than pain. Distraction also can be useful whenever you are waiting for pain medicines to start working.
Stretching and range-of-motion exercises, to
maintain strength, flexibility, and mobility.
Simple touch or gentle massage may help. But avoid getting a massage where you have any visible tumors, open wounds, skin that is tender from radiation, or areas with deep vein thrombosis. If you are caring for someone else who has pain, you may be able to help them relax by:
Holding the person's hand. Or gently rubbing their shoulders.
Rubbing the person's feet with warmed lotion.
Giving him or her a 3-minute back rub using smooth, long, gentle strokes along both sides of the spine.
You may wish to try one of the alternative therapies listed below. Be
sure to talk with your doctor about which therapies might be best
for you. Some of these treatments require a specialist (like acupuncture). But you can learn to do others by yourself (such as relaxation techniques). For more information, see the topic Complementary Medicine.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.