Cancer pain can be difficult to treat, as it often fails to respond to conventional treatments.
While not everyone who is diagnosed with cancer will experience pain related to the cancer, about one out of every three cancer patients undergoing treatment will experience initial pain. In addition, as many as 75 percent will experience pain at some point in the disease’s progression. For those with advanced cancer, the likelihood of experiencing pain is even higher. Cancer can cause sharp pains or the pain may be dull and achy. Cancer pain can be chronic or intermittent, and can go from mild to severe and back again.
Causes and Symptoms of Cancer Pain
Cancer can grow into the tissue surrounding the cancer, destroying those tissues and resulting in pain. The primary cancer—where the cancer started—can be the source of pain, or those areas of the body where the cancer has spread, or metastasized, can also be the source of pain. A tumor can place an increasing amount of pressure on surrounding organs, bones or nerves, all of which can lead to pain. Other causes of cancer pain include:
- Chemicals released by the cancer in the tumor region, and
- Cancer treatments, such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Surgery of any type is painful, and can be painful for a considerable length of time afterwards. Radiation can leave painful scars behind, as well as a constant burning sensation, and chemotherapy can cause nerve damage. All of these can cause chronic, sometimes severe, pain.
Diagnosing Cancer Pain
Unfortunately, cancer pain is often undertreated, due to the following:
- Doctors may be reluctant to ask cancer patients about pain or offer treatments for pain;
- Cancer patients can be reluctant to speak up about their pain—they don’t want to complain or “bother” their doctor;
- Doctors or patients may fear becoming addicted to pain medications, or
- Cancer patients may fear the side effects of pain medications.
The primary method of diagnosing cancer pain is listening to the patient’s symptoms of pain.
Cancer Pain Treatment Options
Cancer patients must take care to get adequate amounts of rest—this is definitely a time when you should listen to your body. The Seattle Pain interventional pain management specialists will carefully listen to your cancer pain symptoms, then will develop a customized, comprehensive pain treatment program which will help you continue to live your normal life, despite your cancer diagnosis.
Are you struggling to find effective treatments for your cancer pain?
Contact Our Seattle Interventional Pain Management Specialists
We understand that cancer pain can significantly reduce your overall quality of life. At Seattle Pain, our primary goal is to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. You do not have to live in pain. Call us today at 253-944-1289 or complete a contact form today.
*Important to note that doctors will often design treatment plans that incorporate a number of different therapies.