If you need breast cancer surgery, ask for a nerve block in addition to general anesthesia.
Breast cancer patients who received the combination of a nerve block with general anesthesia for their breast cancer surgery had less cancer recurrence and were three times less likely to die than those who received only general anesthesia, according to a study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2013 annual meeting. Additionally, patients who received the nerve block needed less opioid pain relief from drugs such as fentanyl and oxycodone. [emphasis mine]
Sounds like it could apply to other cancers and even other surgeries. If I need surgery, I'll ask my doctor about this.
Ruth, thanks for the information.
My cancers were found very early, even though one was an aggressive kind and had spread outside the cancer site. I had a lumpectomy, which was virtually painless. I was given oxycodone to take home, but never needed it. The hard part of chemo for me was gastric upset, and the radiology is painful as far as the breast tissue is concerned, and I have a very bad sunburn-like redness that is painful. I have several different Rxs to manage these pains and all are just an inconvenience and endurable. I sleep part of the day and sleep well at night.
Sadly, many other women are not as fortunate as I, and I see them every day. I wish they had better experiences.
Today, counting down, I have my fifth from last daily radiation, so I will be back to normal tissues and skin very soon.
For others of you who need breast cancer surgery, I would certainly discuss a nerve block in addition to general anesthesia with your physicians. My doctors provide evidence for each decision I have to make; therefore my decisions are relatively easy to make.