Cancer Pain Q & A
What is Cancer Pain?
Cancer pain is a highly subjective experience and yours will be different from that of friends and family, even if they have the same type of cancer. The different types of cancer pain include:
- Acute Pain: This type of pain is sudden, severe, and usually short in duration. The pain usually appears after some sort of injury and will subside as the injury heals.
- Chronic Pain: This type of pain can come on quickly or slowly and ranges from mild to severe. It usually lasts for longer than three months and can disrupt your normal routine. Chronic pain usually doesn’t resolve without treatment.
- Breakthrough Pain: This type of pain is unpredictable and “breaks through” your existing pain management efforts. It comes on suddenly and can be very intense, lasting about an hour.
Understanding the various types of pain can help you and your doctor create a cancer pain management structure that’s right for you.
What are Some Treatments for Cancer Pain?
There are many ways to address cancer pain and it can take some trial and error to find the approach that works best for you. Medications can help control pain and are available as pills, patches, injections, medication pumps, and rectal suppositories. Opioid medications can help with severe pain. Other nonnarcotic drugs can also be effective against cancer pain.
Surgery can also relieve pain by altering the neural pathway that sends pain signals to your brain. Nerve blocks perform a similar function using injected medications instead of surgery. Spinal analgesia delivers pain medication to the fluid surrounding your spine, and epidural injections work in much the same way.
Nerve stimulation uses a low-voltage electrical current to change the path of pain signals. Neuroablation works by using extremely hot or cold temperatures to damage targeted nerves.
What are Some Non-Medical Treatments for Cancer Pain?
Many men and women choose to incorporate nonmedical pain treatments into their cancer pain management routine. Acupuncture, biofeedback, counseling, hypnosis, and imagery and relaxation techniques can help you manage cancer pain.
Treating cancer pain can be a complex issue, and requires a medical team with expertise. At Comprehensive Pain Center you have access to some of the best pain management specialists in the region.
Book an appointment today to explore these and other cancer pain management tools and techniques, or you can always call or stop by the office nearest you to check availability.