Cancer pain is not a solitary event but a fusing of mind and body. Pain caused by diagnostic tests, cancer treatments or the cancer itself travels through the body’s nerve pathways to your brain and may be felt in more than one of your senses. (Find out more about what causes cancer pain on the American Cancer Society website.)Working with your cancer treatment team, you will want to develop different strategies for anticipating and managing various types of pain. Having pain management protocols in place will facilitate early intervention which is the key to effective cancer pain management.
We all respond to pain differently and you may need to experiment to figure out which pain management techniques work best for you. Some people find relief in complementary or alternative cancer therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic or massage. Your Issels treatment specialists may also prescribe drugs or supplements to aid in pain control. Omega-3 fatty-acids and vitamin D supplements have shown some promise in treating certain types of pain.
Effective control of cancer pain generally involves multiple strategies. You may want to try some of these techniques for managing cancer pain:
Practice mindful meditation. Reacting to pain with anxiety, anger or fear can actually make it worse. In mindful meditation, you focus on controlling your thoughts and feelings rather than your reaction to pain.
Engage in physical activity. Even small amounts of daily movement can help strengthen muscles and release stress-fighting endorphins.
Learn to accept pain. Acceptance is the conscious decision to accept what you cannot change, focus on the positives and move forward with your life.
Even cancer patients who are focused on healthy eating and improving nutritional intake should partake of a bit of Valentine’s Day chocolate from last week’s festivities. A bite of chocolate doesn’t just excite our taste buds; chocolate contains potent antioxidants that work to promote good health.Researchers are discovering that chocolate has positive metabolic benefits that may outweigh its weight-boosting potential. If you choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate, which contains more sugar and fat, you tip the health- balance even further in your favor.
The health benefits of eating dark chocolate are:
Works to free your body of anti-oxidants that cause aging and a cause for cancer.
Contains theobromine which has been shown to harden tooth enamel.
High in potassium, magnesium, and copper – trace minerals your body needs.
Helps to control blood sugar.
Can work to lower your blood pressure
Increases blood flow to your brain and heart.
You can read more about the benefits of eating dark chocolate in this article at WebMD to understand more about the role this simple sweet can play to positively impact our bodies even at the metabolic level.
Cancer patients may want to consider adding dark chocolate sweets to their diet, albeit in small quantities, throughout the week. Not only will this provide for an occasional treat, but these small treats may unlock the “hidden” health benefits that dark chocolate carries. Don’t consider these small sweet treats bad for your new healthy eating plan, but that they may actually be a benefit for your special dietary needs.