Cancer pain can result from the physical effect of cancer on a region of the body, as well as due to chemicals that cancer may release in the region of the tumour. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are a source of cancer pain. Surgery is painful and takes time to heal. Radiation may leave behind a burning sensation or painful scars, which chemotherapy can cause painful side effects, including diarrhoea, nerve damage and mouth sores. One way is to remove the source of the pain is by the use of medications which can control the pain. Medications are in form of tablets, or they may be made to dissolve quickly in one's mouth. However, if one is unable to take medications orally, they may also be taken intravenously, rectally or through the skin using a patch. Nerve blocks are a local anaesthetic that is injected around or into a nerve, which prevents pain messages travelling along that nerve pathway from reaching the brain. Some of the side effects of strong pain medications include sleepiness, confusion and lethargy. The severity of these effects varies from person to person and commonly occurs with the first several doses. The less potent pain medications have more side effects like the over-the-counter pain relievers might damage one's kidneys, cause ulcers or increase one's blood pressure.
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