Sunday, 26 July 2020

Cancer Pain and Palliative Care during Covid times

Cancer Pain and Palliative Care during Covid Times

Covid 19 has set in a new world order. Every realm of our life is practically guided and controlled by the presence and fear of this virus. Conducting the rituals of our day-to-day live has enormously been affected by the Coronavirus. People who respect their lives have stopped venturing out unnecessarily, social gatherings of all kinds have virtually come to an end, work from home in such a big number has become a reality, and nothing seems to take life back to our good old days.

Agreed that everything can wait but what about healthcare? The setback to education of all kinds, job scenario, world economy, etc can be rectified later but compromise with healthcare and serious medical condition can prove fatal.

Cancer is one such ailment which is one of the most dreaded diseases and can’t be ignored for long, especially the pain caused by cancer. Pain of any kind, and especially pained caused by cancer can affect all parts of a patients’ life. Some days it may be better or worse than others. If the patient is suffering from cancer pain, he might not be able to perform his day-to-day activities, may have trouble eating and sleeping and may show severe mood swings.

But what causes pain in people with cancer? The cancer itself often causes pain, and its amount depends upon factors like its stage, other health problems and one’s tolerance level. Cancer surgery, treatments and tests also cause pain.

So, during these covid days, when availing healthcare facilities doesn’t come that easy, it becomes a herculean task to get relief from cancer pain. Hence treating the pain at home through various means should be the first and the foremost. More so during this pandemic when searching out to institutional healthcare doesn’t come that easy.

Yoga and exercises prove to be of great help in pain alleviation. Therapeutic activities like Yoga can complement cancer fighting medical treatment to help heal the body, mind and soul in the midst of cancer battle. According to Dr Maggie DiNome of the John Wayne Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, California, “Several studies have demonstrated that Yoga can combat fatigue and improve strength in patients undergoing cancer treatment.”

Similarly, regular exercise goes a long way in reducing cancer-induced pain. Dr. Sara Mansfield, MS, from Mayo Clinic Health Living Program in the US says, “Physical activity can help people before, during and after cancer treatment.” She continues,” Loving family members may be urging the cancer patient to rest, but that can lead to a functional decline. Research tells us, it is better to move more than less.”

Same goes with your food. What you eat is really important when you have cancer. According to National Cancer Centre, Singapore, a cancer patient should focus on vegetables, fruits, proteins and carbohydrates and by all means avoid deep fried, barbecued, baked meat along with excessive salt, sugar and oil and all preserved foods. And alcohol, of course.

 But at times, these measures aren’t enough, and a patient needs to visit a qualified specialist as the pain from cancer may become unbearable. Patients in Bhubaneswar have a trusted name to resort to – Health Village Hospital where its Pain Free Odisha Centre provides solution and care for all kinds of chronic pain including cancer pain as well. The Pain Free Odisha Centre is one of the most advanced facilities in the entire region providing critical care in pain relief. It also provides Palliative Care for cancer patients.

But let’s understand, what is Palliative Care? Palliative Care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stresses of the illness, with the sole objective to improve quality of life for the patient and the family both.

At Pain Free Odisha, Palliative Care is provided by a specially trained team who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. An important name in this field is Dr Shovan Rath, MBBS, MD, Anaesthesiology, FIPP, FIAPM, practicing at Pain Free Odisha centre of Health Village Hospital, Bhubaneswar. According to Dr Rath, “Palliative Care is based on the needs of the patient, not on the patient’s prognosis. And it can be provided along with curative treatment.” Dr Rath goes on to add that patients shouldn’t worry about visiting the centre based at Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar because the centre takes all precautionary measures to combat the spread of corona virus and curb the pandemic. Doctors and other medical staff always follow the strict guidelines laid down by the state government and WHO. The entire hospital is sanitized twice-a-day to keep corona virus a bay. But if need be, doctors from Pain Free Odisha walk that proverbial extra mile to provide Palliative Care to the patients bearing the cancer pain. The centre believes that cancer pain in a patient can be reduced by care, along with cure.

Pain Relief in Covid Times

Pain Relief in Covid Times

The current pandemic caused by Coronavirus has taken the world by surprise. Since its onset in early January this year, nobody could gauge that how far will it go, and will spread so fast and wide to bring the entire mankind, virtually to a standstill. The economies across the globe have gone upside down, human life is in shambles and there is no sight of relief in near future. The governments in the centre and in the states are taking ample measures to fight the spread of corona but all seems to be mere reaction to the prevailing situation. Repeated lockdowns and unlocks have become an unyielding norm, unable to arrest the  growing number of cases.

Virtually every realm of life has been hit hard. And the hardest of them is healthcare.People are finding it increasingly difficult to avail proper healthcare. Two reasons can be assigned to this. One, that healthcare facilities have either shutdown or turned into corona combat centre, and other; the constant and impending fear of getting affected of Covid 19 while visiting hospital for medical check-up. This fear has led to a two way loss. Neither hospitals are getting business nor are patients getting timely and required healthcare facilities. As per reports, there is a sudden and severe decline in OPD cases in hospitals; reason of which can be attributed to the fear of contacting corona at hospitals, which in some cases has been found to be true. Arguably it can be said that many such cases which didn’t report to hospitals were manageable with self-medication and self-healing. But what to do in cases like severe pain which needs immediate attention, and when you can’t go to a hospital or to a doctor due to lack of safe public transport facility or fear of contacting the deadly virus?

In such dire straits, the patient can resort to few measures at home and get relieved of the pain. The first and foremost being our trusted Yoga – the ancient science of wellness. As per a research, practicing yoga has an opposite effect on the brain and can relieve one from chronic pain. According to Catherine Bushwell, Scientific Director, National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health at the US National Institute of Health, “Practicing Yoga and Meditation have shown to reduce pain perception”. So, those suffering from pain, and unable to visit a doctor or a hospital, can practice Yoga for relief from pain.

Another way to reduce pain can be the intake of healthy foods, which has no substitute by any means on any given day. We all must have heard the popular adage - Prevention is better than cure. Hence regular intake of healthy food builds a deterrent against pain. Foods with Omega 3 fatty acids, nuts, leafy vegetables, colourful fruits, garlic and root vegetables, whole grains, etc can relieve you from your pain to a great extent, and reduce your dependence on doctors and hospitals in long run.

People in pain have also found exercising regularly as a great relief to pain. Research has shown that regular exercise can ease pain long term by improving muscle tone, strength and flexibility. Exercise may also cause a release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. Some exercises are easier for certain chronic pain sufferers to do than others. Try sports like swimming, biking, walking, rowing, etc. which have a proven record in controlling pain.

But there is a stage of acute pain which is unbearable, and needs a doctor’s consultation. No amount of yoga, meditation and exercise is enough in such a grave situation. In a scenario like this, you can always find doctors for online consultation, and one such centre is Pain Free Odisha at Health Village Hospital in Bhubaneswar. Qualified and dedicated doctors are always available to provide online consultation, and guide you through your acute pain, just for a nominal fee. This is indeed very handy in the current situation when venturing out of home is a risky affair. Pain Free Odisha has developed a secure mechanism where patients can register, pay the fee and seek consultation, all from the safe confines of their homes.

But, God forbid, if even that doesn’t help, and the patient is withering in severe pain, then they should physically visit Pan Free Odisha at Health Village Hospital even without a second thought. Because the centre is fully sanitized as per Government of Odisha norms, and follows the highest standards of patients’ safety and protection. The entire hospital set-up is fully sanitized twice-a-day, adhering to all protocols to combat the spread of Coronavirus.

A committed name to take pain out of your lives, Pain Free Odisha is taking all possible steps to manage your pain and ease-up your life. Because we believe, together, we can beat and defeat corona.