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.

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