Cancer treatments like surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy can all play a vital role in helping you recover from cancer, but unfortunately, they can also add to the often severe burden of pain the tumor itself is causing. If you’re looking for help with cancer pain, Jan Slezak, MD, and Asteghik Hacobian, MD, at Interventional Spine Medicine can help. They have offices in Barrington, Gilford, Rye, Plaistow, and North Hampton, New Hampshire, where they provide outstanding care for patients who have cancer. Call Interventional Spine Medicine today to find out more.
Cancer pain can come from several sources:
As cancerous tumors grow larger, they start to press on your nerves, organs, or bones, causing increasing levels of pain.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which are the most common forms of cancer treatment, can also cause pain. Chemotherapy uses powerful chemicals to kill growing cells. This can be effective in treating many cancers, but the treatment also kills healthy cells. Radiation therapy works by using radiation rather than chemicals, but it can have similar effects.
You experience pain when you have surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. The pain is typically acute but short-term, as with other forms of surgery.
Acute pain is often severe but gets better as your cancer or the wound from your surgery heals. Chronic pain lasting more than three months is also a common feature of cancer. It could be mild or might become severe.
You can also experience breakthrough pain when you have chronic cancer pain. These flare-ups happen even when you’re taking pain medication, and can be severe.
The nature of your pain is unique to you, but certain types of cancer can be particularly painful. Fortunately, there are effective methods of treating and managing cancer pain.
There are two critical elements to treating cancer pain. The first is diagnosing the type of cancer, its size and position, and whether it’s spreading. The second is you keeping your team at Interventional Spine Medicine informed as to the kind of pain you’re experiencing, how severe it is, and what it feels like.
Cancer pain treatment aims to control the pain while you go through the process of healing and recovery. You might begin your cancer pain treatment with non-opioid medicines if your pain is mild to moderate. Opioids are reserved for moderate to severe cancer pain.
Antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs can help with tingling and burning pain, and if you have swelling or inflammation, steroids can be helpful. You could also benefit from undergoing physical therapies at Interventional Spine Medicine.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can also be helpful for cancer pain. Alternatively, a nerve block injection could help by anesthetizing nerves that are sending cancer pain signals to your brain. One such treatment is the celiac plexus block. Other treatments may include radiofrequency ablation and spinal cord stimulation.
To discuss your options when living with cancer pain, call Interventional Spine Medicine today.