October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and for everyone suffering with any type of cancer we offer our support and wishes for your successful and pain free treatment. Not all cancer pain is the same and not everyone with cancer experiences cancer pain. But 1 out of 3 people undergoing cancer treatment does. If you have advanced cancer — cancer that has spread or recurred — your chance of experiencing cancer pain is even higher.
There are many medicines and methods that can be used to control cancer pain. Your health care team should work with you to keep you as comfortable as possible. But no one doctor can know everything about all medical problems, and sometimes pain is a subject they don’t know as much about. Even though a lot of progress has been made, some doctors and nurses do not know the best ways to treat cancer pain.
Cancer pain can result from the cancer itself. Cancer can cause pain by growing into or destroying tissue near the cancer. Cancer pain can come from the primary cancer itself — where the cancer started — or from other areas in the body where the cancer has spread (metastases). As a tumor grows, it may put pressure on nerves, bones or organs, causing pain.
Cancer pain may not just be from the physical effect of the cancer on a region of the body, but also due to chemicals that the cancer may secrete in the region of the tumor. Treatment of the cancer can help the pain in these situations.
If you are in pain, ask to see a pain specialist or have your doctor consult with a pain specialist. Working with your physician and taking your specific needs into account, our pain specialists will create a treatment plan that will manage your pain at your comfort level.