Having cancer is the main risk factor for cancer pain.
Any type of pain experienced by a cancer patient can be considered cancer pain. The pain may be near or far from the location of the tumor. The intensity can vary. It may be chronic or intermittent pain. The pain can be described as pressure, sharp, dull, throbbing, burning, stabbing, and/or achy.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Special tests may also be done to determine possible causes of the pain. To look for structural problems such as bone fractures and lesions your doctor may use:
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside of the body
—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
To evaluate for a nerve disorders (eg, neuropathy, plexopathy, or radiculopathy)
your doctor may use:
Nerve conduction velocity (NCV)—measure the speed of a nerve impulse
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Your plan will depend on the type of pain you are experiencing. It will also depend on how your cancer has been treated. Medications to treat cancer pain include the following:
Antidepressants, anti-epileptics, and steroids may be effective in relieving certain types of cancer pain. These types of medication may be of benefit if the pain is thought to be related to the central nervous system. This type of pain may be called either neuopathis or central.
can be used to relieve bone pain. It can also help relieve pain caused by tumors compressing other structures.
If you are diagnosed with cancer pain syndrome, follow your doctor's instructions.
Usually, cancer pain is difficult to avoid. To manage your pain, the best thing you can do is talk with your doctor about any pain you have. Your doctor can help you make a plan to manage your pain.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a