Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Heat and Cold Treatment for Cancer Pain
Heat and cold treatments can help with mild to moderate pain from cancer. But talk to your doctor before trying either of these during chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
Heat may relieve sore muscles. Use a heating pad, a gel pack, or a hot-water bottle. Or you can take a hot bath or shower. Apply heat for no longer than 10 minutes at a time. To avoid burning your skin, do not apply anything that is uncomfortably warm.
Cold may ease pain by numbing pain sensations. Use a gel pack that stays soft even when frozen, or a bag of frozen peas, or ice cubes wrapped in a towel. Apply for no longer than 10 minutes at a time. And don't keep a cold pack on for so long that you are shivering or that the cold causes more pain.
When using heat or cold treatment:
After a heat or cold treatment, try some gentle massage for relaxation and pain relief.
Current as ofDecember 19, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineJimmy Ruiz, MD - Medical Oncology, Hematology
Current as of:
December 19, 2018
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jimmy Ruiz, MD - Medical Oncology, Hematology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.