Chronic pain from cancer is difficult for anyone to deal with every day. It can be debilitating and disrupt your life. You might not be able to work or perform routine tasks because of the pain you’re experiencing. When that happens, you should seek pain management care from Jersey Premier Pain.
Cancer patient symptoms vary significantly from one person to the next. They can range from occasional mild symptoms to consistent, severe pain. Cancer pain is typically dull, achy, or sharp. The type and stage of cancer, the extent of the disease, and an individual’s tolerance for pain all contribute to the symptoms experienced. It’s also not limited to the affected area because cancer can cause generalized pain throughout the body.
Depending on the form of cancer you have, you could experience various kinds of pain, including:
- Nerve pain: Also referred to as neuropathic pain. It’s caused by pressure on the spinal cord or nerves or by nerve damage. It commonly leads to a burning, tingling, or skin-crawling sensation.
- Bone pain: If cancer spreads into the bone, it damages the bone tissue, causing a dull or throbbing pain.
- Soft tissue pain may include pain from a muscle or organ, such as back pain from tissue damage to a kidney. It’s typically sharp, cramping, or throbbing.
- Phantom pain occurs when there’s pain in the area of the body where the cancer used to be. For instance, a breast cancer survivor might experience pain in their breast that’s no longer there. Many describe it as unbearable.
- Referred pain: Feeling the pain from a specific organ in a different body part. It can happen because of nerves that lead to another body part.
Cancer pain falls under two different categories: acute and chronic. Acute pain happens when an injury causes damage. It lasts for a short period. Chronic pain often occurs when something affects the nerves in some way. It usually results from cancerous growths pressing on nerves or chemicals a tumor produces. Chronic pain ranges from mild to severe and can continue long after treatment ends.
What Causes Cancer Pain?
You can experience pain from cancer or cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. As cancer grows, it destroys or presses on structures nearby, such as nerves and bone, which can cause pain. It can also spread from its original site to another part of the body and cause additional damage to those nearby structures.
Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation all cause pain in some way due to the strain on the body. The most common side effects people experience after radiation and chemo include:
- Bone and joint pain
- Mucositis (painful mouth sores)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
- Peripheral neuropathy (painful sensations or numbness in the legs, feet, hands, fingers, or arms)
Every cancer patient’s pain is unique. That’s why developing a comprehensive pain treatment plan with your specific needs is so important.
Cancer Pain Risk Factors
It’s difficult for healthcare professionals to treat cancer pain symptoms. This is especially true when unknown factors exist. During routine office visits, they might not ask you specific questions about cancer-related pain. That’s because some don’t specialize in cancer pain or have the resources to address particular pain profiles. Many cancer patients don’t speak up about their pain because they believe there’s no relief available. They deal with it as a regular part of a cancer diagnosis. Others don’t want to complain or seem to be seeking narcotics.
Some people don’t seek treatment for their cancer pain because they fear prescription medication addictions. This is a common fear individuals in many different medical situations experience. Other cancer patients might worry about the side effects of their medication. Symptoms like fatigue could interfere with someone’s ability to function normally.
Options for Treating Your Pain
Medication is a common form of treatment. However, a lot of patients prefer other options. Pain medications may cause nausea, fatigue, and other adverse side effects. These symptoms can prevent patients from thinking and acting as usual. Various treatments can reduce or eliminate the need for oral medicine while relieving cancer pain. These treatments include:
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Physical therapy
- Behavioral health
- Nerve block
- Epidural steroid injection
- Spinal cord stimulator
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Holistic intervention
Our specialists will usually recommend an integrated pain treatment plan. Your plan might include multiple techniques that can work in concert to minimize your pain. Speak to a Cancer Pain Specialist Today
Jersey Premier Pain values our patients and their well-being.
Our compassionate physicians and staff aim to provide quality pain management services. We work to exceed your expectations and ensure you feel relief from your chronic pain.