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Cancer pain and music therapy

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Cancer pain and music therapyWhen we know we get cancer, a fear of going dying troubles us relentlessly in psychological condition and challenges our understanding of suffering arising from cancer.

Unfortunately, it is not yet enough for the disasters that the cancer demon brings. It is only when afflicted by cancer pain that we know what cancer really means, and this kind of physical pain is much greater than mental fear. Sometimes, we might feel better die now than a continued tolerance on such torture.

However, it is unavoidable torture, with about 75% of late-stage cancer patients reportedly experiencing cancer pain and about 33.3% of cancer patients suffering pain from cancer treatment.

About 80% of cancer pain is caused by the tumor itself, 10% triggered by cancer treatments including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Other factors like being bedridden for a long time, muscle cramp, osteoarthritis will also trigger pain.

Cancer pain can bring serious side effects. When cancer patients feel physical pain, they tend to eat less to cause nutrient deficiency and have poor sleep, thus adversely affecting the effects of cancer treatment. Seriously, some of them might feel depressed and generate suicidal thoughts.

Medication therapy is commonly used to help relieve cancer pain, and it is an effective instant treatment that can help reduce 80% to 90% of cancer pain. Cancer patients shall take cancer pain relievers under their doctor’s guidance. You might be given opioids when your pain is severe and rational opioid use won’t cause addiction.

In addition to medication therapy, music therapy is also a popular treatment for cancer pain.

Music has been reported to increase the concentration of pituitary enkephalin and in the blood the content of enkephalin that is a substance associated with cancer pain reduction.

A research team from the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Ohio, USA investigated the efficacy of a single music therapy session to reduce pain in palliative care patients. A total of 200 inpatients were randomly assigned into either standard care group or standard care plus music therapy group, and pre-and post-tests were given to assess the level of pain which is taken as the primary outcome.

The results showed that patients receiving music therapy had a significant decrease in pain score rating, indicating the usefulness of a single music therapy session in cancer pain care. This study was published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Boredom might arise from listening to the same piece of music and affect the expected results. Cancer patients can listen to a variety of music genres based on their preferences.

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