Pain As A Symptom
Over half of all pleural mesothelioma patients have pain in the lower, back or sides of the chest. Sufferers of peritoneal mesothelioma may also experience pain in the abdominal area. Pericardial mesothelioma patients often have chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and constant and acute coughing. Mesothelioma patient pain typically increases over time and can be acute in many cases, requiring prescription narcotics to manage. It is important that patients let their physicians know about the pain they are feeling. Support from a medical team can lessen those symptoms by use of these medications:
- Mild pain is typically treated with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) containing ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen or acetaminophen.
- Moderate pain often involves the use of opioid medications that are sometimes used in combination with NSAIDs. Opioid products are hydrocodone, codeine, methadone or oxycodone.
- Severe pain is often experienced following surgery and is typically managed through “patient-controlled analgesia” whereby the patient can manage the dosage of the painkiller. Most often this is a morphine drip. Higher doses of the moderate pain relievers may be used or other drugs can be prescribed including fentanyl and hydromorphone.