Speak to our specialist nurses
You can speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line if you have any questions about how to talk about your pain.
Tell your doctor, nurse or GP about any new pain or any pain that has got worse as soon as you can.
Don’t try to cope with it yourself. The earlier you get treatment for pancreatic cancer pain, the better the chance of getting it under control.
“Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Doctors and medical professionals understand the difficulty and will do everything they can to provide support.”
Your doctor or nurse will look at what is causing your pain, what type of pain you have, how bad it is and how it is affecting you. This will help them find the best treatment for you. They will ask you about your pain and will examine you.
Pain scales help you describe how bad your pain is. Your doctor or nurse may ask you to rate your pain on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 means no pain and 10 means the worst pain you can imagine. They may also ask you if your pain is mild, moderate or severe (very bad).
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions – only you know how bad your pain is. Tell your medical team if you have any pain, even if the pain feels better than it was before. This will help you and your medical team keep track of changes in your pain and how well your treatment is working.
Keeping a diary can help you remember details of your pain and help you describe it to your medical team.
Try thinking about the following questions when you are writing about your pain.
Take your diary to your appointments and show it to your doctor or nurse. You should talk to your medical team regularly about your pain. This will help to make sure your pain is managed as well as possible and that you are getting the support you need.
Your doctor or nurse may give you a pain diary to fill in, or you can get one from Macmillan Cancer Support’s website. There are also some mobile phone apps that help you record your pain. If you think this would be helpful, ask your doctor or nurse if they know of any good apps.
''You have to trust the professionals and ask for advice – that is their job so encourage the person to speak up about any aches and pains, and describe all symptoms.’’
Updated February 2019
To be reviewed February 2021