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Bowel cancer pain

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Can anyone please suggest any medication that has helped with pain relief for bowel and rectum cancer. My father has been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer and is in significant amount of pain that is not being managed well with any prescribed medication. He has tried gabapentin, Pregabalin and morphine but none have worked successfully. They believe it is neuropathic pain which is caused by the tumour on the bowel. Can anyone help who has experienced anything like this and what has worked successfully them? Thank you in advance.

Ellen M-Macmillan
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Thanks for getting in touch with us and welcome to our Online Community.

It’s understandable why you’re asking for advice to help your dad’s pain. Watching someone you love suffer with significant pain can’t be easy. However, as nurses on this type of platform we’re unable to suggest any medicines. Only a doctor or a nurse prescriber can do this. This is because they have access to your dad’s medical history. They also follow guidelines such as these to help them to manage someone’s pain.

We would recommend that you call your dad’s hospital team or GP today to ask for his pain to be reassessed. Nerve pain can be difficult to control, but there are different types of pain killers and things that can help.

I’m unsure from your post who your dad is seeing for his pain management, but you can ask if he can be referred to a palliative care team or a pain clinic so that his pain can be reassessed. In some situations, if someone is having nerve pain that can’t be controlled doctors may refer someone to an anaesthetist who specialises in cancer pain. They are usually part of a pain team and may recommend a nerve block.

Does your dad have a Macmillan Nurse or a palliative care nurse? If he does you can ask that he is reviewed. If not, and with his permission, you can ask his GP or hospital team to refer him.

If someone’s pain is difficult to manage doctors may decide to admit them to hospital or the local hospice for a few days. This helps the doctors and nurses to get a clearer picture of what is happening and at the same time this gives them the opportunity to review medicines.

We have this information that can help you to have a better understanding about treatment and other support that is available.

There are different ways that we can offer you support. It’s good to see that you’ve joined our carers group as there is nothing quite like the support that you can get from others who know what it’s like. You might also find it helpful to join our group that supports each other when they are caring for someone when their cancer can’t be cured.

You can also give our Support Line a call on 0808-808-0000 and talk to ne of our nurses. Our lines are open 7 days a week, from 8am till 8pm.

Best wishes and take care.

Ellen-Macmillan Online Digital Nurse Specialist.