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Cancer: Home Treatment for Pain

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Not all forms of cancer or cancer treatment cause pain. If pain occurs, many treatments are available to relieve it. If your doctor has given you instructions or medicines to treat pain, be sure to follow them. Home treatment may help to reduce pain and improve your physical and mental well-being. Be sure to discuss with your doctor any home treatment you may use.

For more information, see the topic Cancer Pain.

Medicine you can buy without a prescription

Try an over-the-counter medicine to help treat your fever or pain:

  • Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (these also reduce swelling):
    • Ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin
    • Naproxen, such as Aleve or Naprosyn
  • Aspirin, such as Bayer or Ecotrin
Safety tips

Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use an over-the-counter medicine:

  • Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box.
  • Do not use more than the recommended dose.
  • Do not take a medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
  • If you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take it.
  • If you are or could be pregnant, call your doctor before you take any medicine.
  • Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.

Other home treatments for pain include:

You may wish to try one of the alternative therapies listed below. Be sure to talk with your doctor about which therapies might be best for you. Some of these treatments require a specialist (like acupuncture). But you can learn to do others by yourself (such as relaxation techniques). For more information, see the topic Complementary Medicine.


Credits for Cancer: Home Treatment for Pain

Current as of: December 17, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Jimmy Ruiz MD - Hematology, Oncology


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