Myth: Cancer patients will become addicted to the morphine(Drug information on morphine) doctors prescribe for pain relief.
Fact: Addiction to strong pain medications is rare in chronic cancer pain patients. Doctors can increase, decrease, or change pain medications to accommodate each individual's needs. Many patients may need to take stronger medications to manage their pain.
Myth: Cancer patients build tolerance to pain medication. As their disease progresses and they start to feel "real" pain, their medication does not work anymore.
Fact: Drug tolerance does develop, but it can be overcome. Physicians can increase dosage levels or change prescriptions, depending on what type of medication provides effective relief for each patient. There is no "ceiling dose" for the pain- relieving effects of morphine.
Myth: When cancer patients ask for pain medication, their disease is worsening.
Fact: Pain may be caused by the cancer or by cancer treatments, including radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy. Sometimes the source of pain is unrelated to the cancer. Relieving cancer pain is an essential aspect in a patient's ability to fight disease. Cancer pain does not necessarily mean the disease is progressing to its advanced stages.