Q. My aunt is on morphine and acetaminophen for advanced cancer. What else can we do to ease her pain?

A.

If you feel that your aunt’s pain is not being adequately managed by medication she is currently taking, it is important that you consult with her medical team.

Excellent pain management services and a wide array of pain medications are available. It may be that all that’s needed is for her doctor to change the dosage or frequency of her medication.

However, your aunt’s medical team must continually be informed of her pain level. Don’t assume that they are aware of the level of pain she is experiencing. Doctors often have to rely on their patients and caregivers to tell them whether or not the medications are working for them.

If your aunt’s medical team is not asking about her pain or pain management, you should speak up and raise your concerns with them. If they feel that there is nothing they can do to ease her pain further, consider ask them for a referral to a pain clinic or pain specialist.

For more pain management information, please read our publications:

Additionally, you will find detailed information about pain management in The Caregiver Resource Directory.