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Is Cancer painful?

Ok, I know several of you will be shaking your heads at this questions, but humor me.

I know that the Chemo and radiation make patients feel horrible and sick. Is the actual cancer painful though?
My father has NHL. The journey started with simple symptoms, an itchy head, then a dead leg. the famous last words from the doc as they prep him for surgery "don't worry, it's not cancer"
Through all this he never said he was in any pain. Until the chemo and radiation started.

1 year later - no more cancer
6 months later (last month) - cancer is back. they only found it because of his check up. no pain.

So, i know that some cancer is more agressive than others, and I'm sure that there is pain associated with some, but I'm talking in general terms.


Asked by shareleann at 5:44 AM on Jun. 1, 2011 in Health

Level 15 (1,979 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • I was an oncology nurse for 7 years and I took care of patients with many different kinds of cancer. Some said it was pain that told them something was wrong. Others had no pain and cancer was found during a regular check up or self exam. I specialized in end of life care. Usually by the time it reaches end stage, it's pretty painful, but we almost always were able to keep them pain free with meds. I am so sorry about your father. I will keep you and you family in my thoughts and prayers.

    Answer by jspencer1014 at 5:55 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I think it depends on the type of cancer. My mom died of cancer and while she didn't have a really painful type of cancer (like lung cancer) she did have a slower moving cancer that basically depleted her of all her energy and gradually just made her feel bad in general. So probably it would have been painful if on Monday she felt fine, like her normal self, and then on Wednesday she was completely anemic and barely able to walk across the room. In the end her platelets were almost completely depleted and she had a brain hemorrhage....I hope that wasn't painful but I have a a feeling it probably was.  I guess I think any type of cancer that is going to ultimately kill you is probably at some point painful.


    Answer by Syphon at 6:39 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing.

    Comment by shareleann (original poster) at 6:46 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • i had cervical cancer at 18 and it was very painful it was on my cevix and ovaries and i always had cramps but some cancer is just unnoticable if he gets really sick that might be a sign but most cases there is no show.

    Answer by aliciareichle at 4:37 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • i feel sorry for all ppl that have Cancer
    some feels terrible and some don't know and don't feel anything untill the canser get really on his last way or step ... and then sometimes its kind of late for chimio ro all any other cure .. i had friend who had breast canser .. she felt terribel after knowing she's sick and more with chomio but know she's feelin so great .. im soooo happy for her ..she started a new life she got new job and she's really happy

    hope your Dad will be ok soon dear , i'll pray for him and for ur familly

    Answer by caramelH at 5:41 AM on Jun. 6, 2011