According to Cancer.gov, pain occurs in 20% to 50% of patients with cancer. Most cancer pain occurs due to tumors pressing against the bones, nerves or other organs in the body.
TYPES OF CANCER PAIN
- Acute – severe pain that does not last long.
- Chronic – persistent and long-lasting pain that is endured for three months or longer. This pain is often debilitating and can range from mild to severe with little relief but can usually be controlled by taking pain medications as scheduled.
- Breakthrough – often is caused by the same source as chronic pain but is much more intense and severe that it “breaks through” the relieving effects of pain medication. It can happen several times a day, with varying levels in pain. This sudden onset of pain may be caused by physical activity or may be unexpected with no clear cause. It may be the result of cancer treatment or the cancer itself.
PAIN FROM CANCER
- Spinal cord compression– tumors may press on the spinal cord if it spreads to the spine. Back pain, neck pain, numbness, or weakness in one arm or leg are usually the first signs of a tumor causing spinal cord compression. Seek immediate medical help if you experience any of these symptoms, or if the pain is made worse from coughing, sneezing or physical movement. Spinal cord compression requires immediate treatment so that the patient does not lose bladder and/or bowel movement control or become paralyzed. Treatment typically involves radiation therapy or steroids to shrink the tumor. Surgery is also available if the tumor is pressing against the spine and is usually followed by radiation therapy.
- Bone pain – cancer that spreads to the bones can cause pain in the affected bone. The treatments for bone pain from cancer include radiation therapy that treats the weakened bone, a radioactive medicine that targets and settles in the affected areas of bone and strengthens it. Bisphosphonates may also be taken to strengthen the damaged or diseased bones and prevent them from breaking.
Chemotherapy can cause peripheral neuropathy (PN), which is a condition that is often described as pain, burning sensation, numbness, tingling, weakness, clumsiness, impaired mobility, unusual sensations felt at the hands/arms and/or feet/legs.
PN is a result of nerve damage from chemotherapy treatments, as well as vitamin deficiencies, cancer itself or other health problems.
Mouth sores can also appear in patients who have undergone chemotherapy treatment. Stomatitis or mucositis are painful sores that make it difficult for the patient to eat, drink, swallow or even speak.
Radiation therapy may also lead to radiation mucositis, along with other radiation damage to the treated area. Radiation can also cause painful skin burns, irritation and scarring. Other affected areas of the body prone to radiation damage and injury include the throat, bladder and intestines.
Dr. Gohel’s professional training and expertise are committed to getting you on the right path towards cancer pain relief and management. The first step is for Dr. Gohel to thoroughly review your medical history and perform a physical exam. Next is to diagnose the condition and determine the most effective route for treatment tailored to your specific needs. Here are some pain management treatment options we offer that are effective in cancer pain relief:
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Facet Joint Injections
- Nerve Root Injections
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
- Sacroiliac Joint Block
Call the Pain Specialist TX office to schedule a consultation for your cancer pain with Dr. Gohel and her dedicated team of pain management specialists.