Bowel cancer

Hi, my mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer 2 weeks ago. She’s had MRI and CT scans so just waiting on the results. She is in a lot of pain. She was on cocodamol prior to diagnosis then after that the doctor prescribed nefopam but she’s still in constant pain in her belly, bum and top of her leg. Is there anything else we can do? 

thank you 

  • Hello Em89,

    Thanks for getting in touch. My name is Megan, I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurses on the Macmillan Support Line.

    Welcome to the online community. I hope you have been finding it supportive.

    I was sorry to read that your mum has recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer. I can appreciate how this news must have been distressing to hear.

    Sometimes people find strength in talking to others who may be in a similar situation to themselves. You may wish to explore our Family and friends forum or Bowel cancer forum for this.

    It sounds as though your mum is in the diagnosis stage of the cancer pathway where they have identified cancer but are doing further tests to establish more information before coming together to advise on the next steps. This time can be extremely worrying for everyone and I do hope you are also receiving support during this time.

    Although mum has been prescribed Nefopam which is known to be used for moderate pain resulting from cancer, it sounds as though your mum is still experiencing significant pain and this needs to be reviewed.

    We would always advise to report any new, increasing, or worsening symptoms (including uncontrolled pain) to the GP or hospital team. This allows them to make a full assessment and decide if mum would require medication, further investigations or treatment to manage these symptoms.

    I would advise that your mum contact’s the GP or hospital team today. They would want to hear from her and know if she is continuing to experience persistent uncontrolled pain despite taking regular prescribed pain relief.

    You may also find some useful information from our Macmillan website about pain and pain management without drugs.

    I hope this information is useful. Please don’t hesitate to get back in contact by email, webchat or phone, if you need further information or support.

    The Macmillan Support Line offers practical, clinical, financial and emotional support. You can call us free from landlines and from most mobile phone networks on 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week, 8am – 8pm.


    Best wishes, Megan

    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 


    Ref MD/SS

  • Thank you for replying Megan. We had another appointment today and she’s starting chemo in a few weeks. I said about the pain but they’ve still prescribed more co-codamol but with anti sickness tablets as well. They did say that in the future she could have morphine patches which is frustrating as the pain is only getting worse but I’ll give it a couple weeks then as again. Thank you