Elderly Back Pain Issues

Hi Doctor Marion,

What type of help devices are available in my area to help a patient that has back pain due to pancreatic cancer.  My brother in law piles pillows on his back and I wondered if there is anything available to help with this.  Also what can be expected as the cancer worsens?  My family is praying for a miracle but if God does not grant us that miracle what else do we watch for to show the cancer is advancing.  Do the legs and stomach swell?  Because my brother in law has swelling on his stomach and his legs.

Sophia in Washington, 39

Back pain is a very individual difficulty, so I suggest that your brother-in-law scour the medical/surgical supply stores, and talk with a physical therapist or occupational therapist for tips and tricks that could alleviate his situation.  His primary care physician and/or oncologist are also great sources of information here.

Don’t overlook that you might benefit from attending a support group in your local area for family members of cancer patients.  The National Cancer Society is the best place for information about where to find these groups.  It can really help to hear the various spiritual, metaphysical, mental, and physical ways people are dealing with a similar challenge.  One thing is made clear in a powerful way: you are not alone.

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