Pain is one of the most common symptoms in cancer patients and often has a negative impact on patients’ functional status and quality of life. The goal of the following summary is to provide evidence-based, up-to-date, and practical information on the management of cancer pain.
Effective pain management can generally be accomplished by paying attention to the following steps:
A person with a poor appetite or no appetite may eat much less than normal or may not eat at all. A poor appetite can be caused by a changed sense of taste or smell, feeling full, tumor growth, dehydration (see the section called “Fluids (lack of) and dehydration”), or the side effects of treatment. A poor appetite can be made worse by many things, such as trouble swallowing, depression, pain, nausea, or vomiting.
For many women with endometrial cancer, treatment may remove or destroy the cancer. Completing treatment can be both stressful and exciting. You may be relieved to finish treatment, but find it hard not to worry about cancer coming back. (When cancer comes back after treatment, it is called recurrence.) This is a very common concern in people who have had cancer.
Swelling (edema) is a build-up of water in the tissues. This can be caused by retaining salt and water due to medicines or heart, liver, or kidney failure. It can sometimes be due to poor nutrition, pelvic tumors, or a blockage in the veins or lymph system. Fluid can also build up in the belly. It can make the belly hard and swollen.
What happens if I get CIPN?
Your health care team needs to know if your chemo is causing signs of chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), so be sure to tell them about any changes you notice. During treatment, they will ask you about your symptoms and watch you to see if the CIPN is getting worse. Your team may need to delay your treatment, use smaller doses of the chemo drugs, or stop treatment with the drug that is causing the CIPN until your symptoms get better. These actions must be started right away to prevent long-term damage that won’t get better.
Any change in your usual sleeping habits can cause a sleep problem. People who are getting treatment for cancer may get more tired and may need to sleep more than usual. Sometimes, the opposite occurs and people have trouble sleeping. Reasons for changes in usual sleeping habits include pain, anxiety, worry, depression (see the related sections), night sweats, or the side effects of treatment or medicines.
What are second cancers?
Advances in cancer early detection and treatment mean that more and more people are surviving cancer today. Cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often their greatest concern is facing cancer again. If a cancer comes back after treatment it is called a recurrence. But some cancer survivors may develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a second cancer. No matter what type of cancer you have had, it is still possible to get another (new) cancer, even after surviving the first.