Cancer Pain: An Introduction

The treatment of cancer pain is one of our passions at Schlesinger Pain Centers. We enjoy working with these patients and watching the difference it can make in their lives.

Cancer pain is broad and often bewildering topic. There are so many different conditions that can cause pain in cancer patients and cancer survivors that it may seem as if there is little or nothing that can be said about the topic as a whole.

 

One thing that can be said is that here, perhaps more than in any other area of pain management an accurate diagnosis is essential. The pain may be caused by direct effects of the tumor itself on vital structures or by effects on certain nerves. The distinction is important because pain arising in neural structures and pain arising in non-neural structures usually respond to different treatments.

 

Some important pain syndromes are the result of the treatment of the cancer rather than the tumor itself. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy all can give rise to a variety of different pain conditions. Since most cancer patients will have had more than on of these treatment modalities it often requires significant experience and skill to sort out the primary cause.

 

Finally, it is important to remember that cancer patients can suffer from all of the maladies that afflict other people. Being able top tell the patient that the new pain is not the result of recurrent or resurgent cancer, can be as important the treatment of the pain itself.

 

Another common characteristic of all cancer pain syndromes is that it is the patient as a whole, rather than the pain, which needs to be treated. This can only be done in a comprehensive, integrated treatment facility. At Schlesinger Pain Centers the treatment plan is always part of a long-term relationship with the patient. The treatment of today’s pain is viewed a part of a continuum with yesterday’s ache and tomorrow’s question. It is only in the treatment of the patient as a whole, that any measure of success is possible.

 

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