- Cancer Information
- Managing side effects
- Pain and cancer
- What is cancer pain?
- What affects pain?
What affects pain?
As well as the physical cause of the pain, your environment, fatigue levels, emotions and thoughts can affect how you feel and react to pain. It’s important for your health care team to understand the way these factors affect you.
Where you areThings and people in your environment – at home, at work and elsewhere – can have a positive or negative impact on your experience of pain.
How tired you feelExtreme tiredness (fatigue) can make it harder for you to manage pain. Lack of sleep can increase your pain. Ask your health care team for help if you are not sleeping well.
How you feelYou may worry or feel easily discouraged when in pain. Some people feel hopeless, helpless, embarrassed, angry, inadequate, irritable, anxious, frightened or frantic. You may notice your mood changes. Some people become more withdrawn and isolated.
What you’re thinkingHow you think about pain can affect how you experience the pain, e.g. whether you believe it is overwhelming or manageable.
Podcast: Managing Cancer Pain
Dr Tim Hucker, Pain Medicine Specialist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Keiron Bradley, Palliative Care Consultant, Bethesda Health Care, WA; A/Prof Anne Burke, Co-Director Psychology, Central Adelaide Local Health Network, President, Australian Pain Society, Statewide Chronic Pain Clinical Network, SA, School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide, SA; Tumelo Dube, Accredited Pain Physiotherapist, Michael J Cousins Pain Management and Research Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW; Prof Paul Glare, Chair in Pain Medicine, Palliative Medicine Specialist, Pain Management Research Institute, The University of Sydney, NSW; Andrew Greig, Consumer; Annette Lindley, Consumer; Prof Melanie Lovell, Palliative Care Specialist HammondCare, Sydney Medical School and The University of Technology Sydney, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Melanie Proper, Pain Management Specialist Nurse Practitioner, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Dr Alison White, Palliative Medicine Specialist and Director of Hospice and Palliative Care Services, St John of God Health Care, WA.
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