Pain is not synonymous with cancer, but you have a higher likelihood when it spreads, recurs, or coincides with your treatment activities. It also comes in many forms and is the consequence of factors like the type of cancer you have, its stage, your level of tolerance, and the location it is. That said, pain is manageable which is a critical component of any patient’s treatment plan.
Cancer Pain Causes
There are two variables to cancer pain causes. Some people experience pain from cancer as it grows and spreads. Not only does it affect your tissue, but when a tumor is present, it can affect your nearby bones, organs, and nerves. Cancer cells also release chemicals into the body that further causes pain. Indirectly, your body may react to the chemicals and cause more pain. When you undergo treatment to counteract the agony, it can also lead to more pain after receiving chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation. When this occurs, it is important to notify your doctor.
How Does Maryland Pain & Wellness Center Treat Cancer Pain?
There is no exact formula for treating a patient with cancer pain because everyone’s case is different. While chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation are commonly used, our staff likes to take a multi-discipline approach to treatment. We also employ chronic cancer pain options like:
- Over-the-counter (Tylenol or Aspirin) and opioid prescription grade medication (Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Roxicodone, Fentanyl, hydromorphone, and Methadone), antidepressants, and steroids (available in liquids, pills, shots, patches, and suppositories).
- Patients need nerve blocker injections to stop pain messaging along the brain pathway.
- A patient has access to PT, aquatic therapy, massage, meditation, and mental health counseling as we take a healthy mind and body approach to cancer pain treatment.
Cancer Treatment Side Effects
While each patient will react to treatment differently, there are common side effects you should be aware of. Not only will signs and symptom knowledge help you gain critical data about your cancer type and treatment availability, but you have the information to enhance your healthcare.
Chemotherapy notoriously causes serious side effects like neuropathy, fatigue, hair loss, nausea, and infection which will be easier to treat with relaxation and pain medication.
Surgery is often required to remove cancer growth which will cause a patient to experience pain in the extraction area. You will suffer short-term pain during the recuperation process due to the injury of the nerves, but you will be free of cancer pain.
When you receive radiation for your cancer, you may experience side effects such as pain, a burning sensation, and reddening of the skin. Patients also experience side effects like mouth sores, fatigue, and diarrhea which is why professional oversight is valuable.
As with any medications you consume, the risk of side effects is common. Most especially when you use opioids, you will often experience vomiting, sleepiness, nausea, and constipation which you may use either OTC or prescription medicines to control.
If you would like to request an appointment to learn more about cancer pain, it will be helpful to document its severity, type, location, symptoms, and OTC measurements you used to treat it.