Not all people with cancer suffer from pain. However, those who experience pain can attest how excruciating it can be.
What Does Cancer Pain Feel Like?
The level and type of pain generally depends upon the type of cancer a person has. It also depends how your body responds to it and how it affects your body. As a general rule, the pain can be categorized into three kinds: deep aching, burning, and phantom pain.
Cancer Pain Symptoms
It is also important to understand the different types of cancer pain. They are nerve pain, bone pain, soft tissue pain, referred pain and phantom pain. Moreover, the severity of the pain depends on the type of cancer you have, its location, the stage of the cancer, and extent of damage caused by it. Some other factors also affect the pain, such as depression, anxiety, fear and lack of sleep.
In relation to the factors affecting the pain, the following are some of the common cancer pain symptoms:
- People whose bones are affected by cancer experience deep and aching pain. This is very excruciating because the pain emanates from the bones. This happens when there’s a tumor in the bone or a tumor presses on the bone. This is the most common type of cancer pain.
- The second most common type is burning pain. This happens when a tumor presses on a nerve. This results in a burning feeling, which can be unbearable at times. The pain is sometimes caused when the nerves are damaged as a result of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
- The pain is described as phantom because it affects an area which is no longer there. For example, when an arm is removed due to cancer surgery, the patient feels a pain the area where the arm used to be. Although that part of the body is no longer there, the nerve endings around it still send signals to the brain which the latter interprets as pain.
Cancer Pain Treatment
There are now various ways to treat cancer pain. The most common way is removing the source of pain through radiation, chemotherapy or surgery. When the pain still does not go away, a doctor usually prescribes medications that help in controlling and alleviating the pain. These meds include strength pain relievers, weak opioid medications and strong opioid medications. Just remember that you must only take the meds as prescribed.
Here at AZ Pain and Spine Institute, we provide pain management solutions for cancer pain. We use cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facility in treating cancer patients who suffer from bouts of pain. We will identify the most effective way to provide relief by identifying which is causing the pain. Depending on the root cause of the pain and your individual needs, we provide specific or a combination of available treatments.
Let the professionals at Arizona Pain and Spine Institute help you manage and treat the cancer pain. Make an appointment with us and we will schedule a treatment schedule that’s best for you.
Cancer Pain Causes
There are different causes and types of cancer pain. But the most common cause of cancer pain is when tumor pressed on the nerves, bones or organs in the body. As the tumor grows inside the body of the patient, it can cause physical discomfort and pain.
The causes of cancer pain depend on whether it is acute or chronic. In acute pain, the common cause is damage caused by an injury related to the cancer. For instance, cancer operation or other medical procedure may cause acute pain. In chronic pain, the common cause is changes in the nerves. The tumor or chemicals produced by the tumor can press on the nerves or do changes in the body which then lead to pain. The pain can be gradual or abrupt, mild to severe, and may even be persistent.
Aside from the tumor, treatments can also cause debilitating pain on people with cancer. External radiation may be quite painful to the person. Chemotherapy also causes pain, along with other side effects like sores.
In order to manage cancer pain, you must stay strong and have a trustworthy network. For example, talking about the pain to your family, friends and loved ones can help a lot in making things bearable and manageable. You can also talk about such things to your cancer team, if you have any. Also, learning about and understanding cancer pain are helpful in the process. And of course, you need to follow what your doctor tells you.