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Pain management for tumour in sacrum pressing on nerves

Posted by

Good morning,

My Husbands bowel cancer has spread to his liver, lungs and sacrum and he is getting unbearable pain in his lower back and back of his legs due to the tumour in his sacrum pressing on nerves. He has an urgent MRI yesterday to rule out any tumour in the spine which came back ok and they gave him morphine tablets in addition to the orimorph but he was still awake all night in pain. Is there anything else that you could suggest that he might be able to try please? I am very worried about him doing something silly because he cant stand the pain anymore.

They had said when they found out it was in the sacrum perhaps they could try radiotherapy but nothing more has been said about that and he has crohns so they were not sure if he could have radiotherapy.

Thanks and kind regards,


Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Laura,

Thanks for getting in touch with us at what sounds like a difficult time for you both.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to watch someone you love having pain that isn’t being controlled. Worrying about them doing something silly because they can’t stand the pain anymore must be awful.

Usually we would suggest talking to his doctor about radiotherapy as this can help to manage bone pain. However, this would not have an instant result and it very much sounds like he needs to have his pain better managed now.

If you haven’t already called his GP/ hospital team, we would advise that you give them a call today and explain that you’re worried about him doing something silly. Let them know the amount of pain that he is in and insist that someone visits him.

There are other medicines that might be helpful to try but as a nurse it’s difficult for me to suggest what he could try in case there was a medical reason that they weren’t suitable.

Sometimes when someone has pain that is difficult to manage doctors may suggest that he gets admitted to hospital for a few days to allow the doctors to manage his symptoms better.

Best wishes and take care.

Ellen-Macmillan Online Digital Nurse Specialist.