Although many treatment therapies have been considered in managing pain caused by cancer, recent studies are looking into the use of ketamine therapy. This is because ketamine has been used over the years for other health issues and has produced effective results.
For instance, depression treatment using ketamine has been shown to produce powerful effects as it can suppress depressive disorders, including suicidal thoughts. As such, it is important to look into the possibility of managing pain in cancer patients using ketamine therapy.
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The Dilemma Associated With Cancer Treatment Therapies
One of the subjects hardly discussed in a public space is cancer. This is because it is a highly sensitive matter and can cause anyone affected directly or indirectly by it to be very emotional. However, it is important that measures to relieve or manage the pain caused by cancer, whether acute or chronic, be discussed.
One common side effect known to cancer patients is pain, with incidences as high as 75% for those suffering from the advanced form of the disease. Since the kind of pain experienced by different cancer patients varies, some types of medications or treatment methods may not effectively treat all kinds of cancer.
For instance, chronic cancer pain is sometimes resistant to therapies used for acute pain, making it difficult to control. Also, some patients find it hard to control their pain using opioids and other traditional pain medications alone.
Thankfully, more research has been conducted on alternative treatment methods for the relief of cancer pain, including cancer pain resistant to opioids which Ketamine IV Infusion therapy is among.
About Ketamine IV Infusion Therapy
Originally, ketamine was used as an anesthetic till further research was made on other ways to use this medication. After a variety of research was conducted, it was discovered that ketamine therapy administered in low doses could be used to treat various conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and depression resistant to other treatments.
However, it has been recently used to manage neuropathic pain during and after a cancer therapy treatment. Ketamine can relieve cancer pain due to its NMDA-receptor antagonists that bind to other receptors to boost the effectiveness of opioid-induced signaling in the body.
These actions slow down the messages sent by the pain-sensing nerve to the brain, thereby producing analgesia, which is the inability to feel pain. Hence, the pain level is lessened, and a relaxing feeling is felt throughout the body. Ketamine therapy may help give relief from cancer pain for a period of 6 to 8 weeks.
When Is Ketamine Therapy Recommended?
A medical provider may recommend ketamine therapy for cancer pain management due to the following reasons:
- When the cancer patient has side effects from other pain relief medications or treatment therapies.
- If the other pain treatment therapies do not provide relief.
- When the pain is difficult to control.
Ketamine therapy is usually recommended to be used in cancer pain management after cancer surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Possible Benefits of Using Ketamine to Manage Pain in Cancer Patients
Over time, ketamine has proven effective in cancer pain treatment, especially in cancer pain resistant to other traditional treatment methods. Recent studies have shown that it has a prospective future as the treatment method for uncontrollable cancer pain.
Ketamine can also be used alongside painkillers to help manage cancer-related nerve pain. It can also be used as additional therapy to the medical regimen of a cancer patient to help improve their quality of life, reduce or eradicate anxiety and depression.
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Side Effects Associated with Cancer Pain Traditional Treatment Methods
The most commonly prescribed traditional cancer pain treatment method is the use of opioids. They are a kind of narcotic painkillers. Opioids include drugs like fentanyl, morphine, hydrocodone, methadone, and oxycodone. They can help manage pain in cancer patients but usually have side effects.
There’s also the problem of loss in efficacy, where the body of the cancer patient begins to develop a tolerance for the drugs over time which may result in overdosing of the patients and sometimes unhealthy addiction.
Some of the common side effects associated with the use of opioids include dizziness, vomiting, physical dependence, constipation, nausea, and respiratory depression. Some over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and aspirin have been used to manage pain in cancer patients over time.
However, they have also been shown to have side effects if used for a long period. The side effects of using these OTCs may include ulcers. Increase in blood pressure and possible damage to the liver or kidney. All these side effects of these treatment methods are what make the use of ketamine seem a better option.
The pain related to cancer may seem challenging to manage. However, ketamine therapy can give hope and relief through this difficult time. If cancer pain persists and other traditional methods are not providing relief, the next thing is to reach out to a healthcare provider to discuss the possibility of adding ketamine to manage the pain effectively.