Cancer Pain

Individuals diagnosed with cancer may experience varying levels of pain depending on the stage and location of the disease. While any cancer patient may have pain, it tends to be more common in patients diagnosed with bone, breast, or prostate cancers. Although it isn’t always possible to completely relieve all cancer pain, there are proven way to lessen the pain in most patients. Pain control can improve your quality of life throughout cancer treatment.
Learn more about some of the common causes of cancer pain that we treat at our office in The Woodlands.
Most cancer pain is caused by the tumor itself. A tumor can apply an increased amount of pressure on nearby tissue, bones, nerves, and organs. The added compression from the tumor can cause the surrounding tissue to become inflamed, irritated, and sore.

Sometimes the cancer cells invade bone structures within the body. When this occurs, patients generally report a dull ache in the bones. Cancer pain that occurs as a result of bone damage from the tumor is generally regarded as the most severe form of cancer pain.

Many factors determine the amount of pain, including the type of cancer, its stage, other health problems, and your tolerance for pain.

Cancer-related tests, treatments, and surgery can also create aches and pains. Common pain caused by cancer treatments include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Peripheral neuropathy (numbness or pins and needles in hands and feet)
  • Mucositis (painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes that line the entire digestive tract)
  • Stomach pain

Infections that develop within the cancerous tumor have been found to cause a rapid onset of severe pain. Cancer pain related to tumor infection can be frequently overlooked.

Cancer Pain Treatment
All cancer patients should first talk with their oncologist about the types of pain they’re experiencing. It’s important that they know about it and there are some pain management methods they may recommend trying right away. When the pain cannot be managed in the typical ways, a pain management specialist will be consulted for more advanced treatment options.
Cancer Pain Treatment
All cancer patients should first talk with their oncologist about the types of pain they’re experiencing. It’s important that they know about it and there are some pain management methods they may recommend trying right away. When the pain cannot be managed in the typical ways, a pain management specialist will be consulted for more advanced treatment options.
Spinal block

One of the most effective cancer pain treatment options is to target the spinal cord. This is commonly done by using spinal cord injections. The spinal cord relays pain signals from the source of the pain to the brain. Spinal cord injections are minimally invasive and work by injecting an anesthetic that prevents the transmission of pain signals within the spinal cord. Many patients find significant improvement in the severity of their pain after a spinal block. Some patients have experienced total relief from pain and discomfort as a result.

Pain Medications

Opioid medications may also be used to help relieve cancer pain. These medications reduce pain by activating the opioid receptors within the spine. These receptors block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. There are many different options and forms of pain medications that can be tried, especially if the patient needs to maintain a daily routine. There are many options and combinations for patients based on the severity of the pain and the source of pain.

If you or a loved one is experiencing cancer pain, first talk to your oncology team. From there they may recommend a pain management specialist, like those at Pain Management Center of Houston. We understand the special challenges that cancer patients face and will do our best to help control cancer pain.