Cancer Pain Management

Many of those diagnosed with cancer experience pain. Typically one out of three people undergoing cancer treatment experiences cancer pain. Advanced cancer can cause pain either from the cancer itself or from the treatments used to bring about control of the cancer. The pain can range anywhere from mild to severe. It can be intermittent or constant. It may vary in nature including dull, achy, throbbing or sharp.

Cancer pain treatment in Las Vegas

Kozmary Center specializes in treating pain including pain from cancer. Cancer pain can arise from the growth of the disease. As the tumor grows it can invade the surrounding tissues including soft tissues, bone, nerves, or vital organs. Especially rapid expansion of the cancer can cause symptoms including pain. Sometimes the pain comes from the treatment of cancer. Radiation, chemotherapy or surgery can cause painful symptoms depending on the area of the body. Cancer pain could also be due to the chemicals or hormones that are released from the cancer itself.

Cancer Pain Medications

Below are a few of the medications that can be used to treat cancer pain. These are typically taken by mouth, but some are available in patches worn on the skin. The medication can also be delivered intravenously.

  • over-the-counter medications
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • opiate medications including Ultram and Codeine
  • strong opiate medications including Morphine, Oxycodone, Hydromorphone, Fentanyl, Oxymorphone, Methadone, Hydrocodone.

Additional Pain Treatments

Other treatments are available including topical medications such as pain creams or injection therapy that blocks the pain signals. There is also physical therapy, massage therapy, spinal cord stimulation and spinal infusion pump therapy. Spinal cord stimulation delivers electrical signals to the spinal cord to interrupt the pain signals that are coming from the periphery of the body. Spinal infusion pumps deliver opiates or narcotic medications into the spinal fluid and are a hundred to three hundred times as potent as if taken by mouth.

Pain Relief Is Available

There are many reasons people hesitate to seek pain relief from cancer pain. The most common is that they don’t know that pain relief is available. The specialty of pain management has grown tremendously over the last twenty-five years. There are many treatments that are now available for the relief of cancer pain. No one should go untreated. Sometimes people are afraid of the side effects of the pain medications. If they are appropriately administered and monitored, there are rare side effects.

"The spinal infusion pump is typically extremely effective in reducing cancer pain even when oral medications are ineffective."

Patients often feel that they do not want to complain about pain to their doctors. They may even feel that this signifies that the cancer is growing or spreading or getting worse. Your doctor needs to know about your health condition and pain symptoms should be reported to the physician. Typically this is reported on a one to ten scale with one being the minimum pain and ten being the worst imaginable pain. Also report to your doctor the nature, character, severity, extent of the pain.

Other reasons patients are hesitant to speak about their pain is that they don’t want to bother their doctor about the pain. Doctors want to know and want to be able to help patients. Patients are also afraid of addiction. When properly administered, the risk of addiction is quite low. Side effects can also be treated. There are recent studies that show that good control of pain symptoms helps people to live longer and fight their cancer. The most common side effect with pain medications is constipation and this can be easily treated. It is best treated with a bowel prophylaxis, such as keeping hydrated, movement and stool softeners.

If there is any bothersome pain or pain that interferes with your life or that persists, report it to your doctor. Let your doctor know if you’re having pain. If you’re not getting the answers you need from your physician, request a referral to a pain management physician. Most major cities have pain management physicians available. Treatment and medications are covered by most insurances.



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