Can chemotherapy relieve pain?

2 answers | Last updated: Oct 01, 2009
Roland grasso asked...

My mother is 78 years old and was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma cancer in her jawbone. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year too. Since eating is one of the things she enjoys the most, we decided not to do surgery and treat her with radiation and chemotherapy. What is the best treatment without surgery? Will chemotherapy help to reduce the pain?

Expert Answers

Andrew Putnam, M.D. is a Palliative Care physician at Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University.

For many situations where cancer causes pain, if chemotherapy or radiation can help to shrink the cancer, the pain will be reduced.  It is important to ask her oncologist the likelihood of shrinking the tumor with a particular treatment and compare it with the likelihood of severe side effects.  But chemotherapy can reduce pain if it shrinks the cancer.  If your mother's Alzheimer's progresses it may become more difficult to evaluate her pain.

Community Answers

Roland grasso answered...

Thank you so much for your answer, she didn't start the chemotherapy yet but will start soon and as soon as I see the results I will post what happened

Thanks again and God bless you.