My brother is dying of cancer and is suffering a tremendous amount of pain. Is it true that if pain medications are used now, there will be nothing to use later on?

Almost all pain is controllable at all stages of an illness and at the end of life. It’s important to treat pain whenever it’s felt. There are many medications and options available. Dosages of some medications may be increased, or the medications may be changed. Several pain medications do not have an upper limit, so they can be increased if pain increases. These types of medications often are used when someone’s pain is tremendous, as is your brother’s.

Many areas in Canada have pain or palliative care programs and services. The experts in these areas can help with various aspects of care, especially controlling complex pain. They often have consultation services that your brother or his care provider can call on whether he’s at home or in a hospital. You may want to contact your brother’s health care team to find out if there’s a specialized service that can be called in to help control his pain.