Every person’s cancer journey is different. Depending on the type of cancer, the location of the mass, and the prognosis; patients can have a wide variety of symptoms and experiences. Unfortunately, many people battling cancer find themselves suffering from hard-to-control, chronic pain. If you have been diagnosed with cancer or your loved one is battling cancer, you should know there are advanced options that go beyond opioids or pain medications to help successfully manage the pain.
Pain experienced during cancer may originate from the cancer, as a side effect from treatments, or may follow surgical or removal procedures.
Spinal Cord Compression
Tumors that originate or spread to the spinal column can compress the spinal nerve and cause pain, numbness, and weakness. Pain from spinal cord compression may radiate to other parts of the body or present as axial pain, characterized by a severe mid-back ache.
Local or Regional Cancer Pain
Tumors or cancer can cause intense pain in the areas of the body they affect, no matter where they are found. The consistency and intensity of a person’s pain often vary depending on the staging of their cancer and the level of metastasis. Patients with tumors or cancer that compress nerves innervating large areas of the body can experience radiating pain in those regional areas as well.
Treatment Associated Pain
Your BSSNY neurosurgeon will consult with each patient and his/her oncologist to understand current staging, treatment plans, and the origin of their pain to find the best way forward. He listens to concerns and ensures he understands each patient’s goals to help them choose the right next step in controlling their pain.
Advanced cancer pain treatments include: