Cancer Pain

“Pain, which can be caused by the disease itself or by treatments, is common in people with cancer, although not all people with cancer will experience pain. Approximately 30% to 50% of people with cancer experience pain while undergoing treatment, and 70% to 90% of people with advanced cancer experience pain.” 1

At PMPMA, we use a variety of modalities to ease pain that patients may experience due to cancer or cancer treatment. Our experts help to control cancer pain and improve patients’ quality of life.

Our team of professionals understand that unrelieved pain can affect your eating, sleeping, activity, mood, concentration, and even immune system. Since each person experiences cancer differently (i.e., patients vary in diagnosis, stage of disease, and responses to treatments), we manage cancer pain on an individual basis.

One therapeutic approach quite effective and utilized by the clinicians is pharmacological pain control. This involves the use of analgesic drugs (or painkillers) and other medications that intensify the use of analgesic drugs and other medications. Because of the complex nature of cancer-related pain, successful pain management usually involves a combination of techniques.
How to Talk About Your Pain

Be an active health care consumer and your own advocate for pain control. You are a partner with your physician and nurse; you are part of the team effort that will develop a plan for your pain relief.
Be persistent and remember–you have a right to adequate pain relief.
Try to be as clear as you can when you communicate to your doctor or nurse about your pain. Be specific about the location of your pain; use a numeric scale to communicate the level or intensity of your pain. Use a scale of 0 through 10, where 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst, excruciating pain you can imagine.
Describe your pain in words. How does it feel? Is it constant? Does it come and go? What makes the pain better? What makes the pain worse? Can you sleep?

*Cancer Treatment Centers of America

“Although cancer pain can be relieved, surveys have shown that pain is often undertreated in many patients. This can be attributed to several factors: physicians may not be adequately educated about pain control or they may be more focused on the control of the disease than on control of pain and other symptoms; patients may be reluctant to report their pain; and both physicians and patients may be reluctant to use morphine and other opioids for pain control because they fear addiction, which is extremely rare for people with cancer.” 1

1 Lesage P. And Portenoy RK. Cancer Control; Journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center 1999; 6 (2): 136-145.

Written and Compiled by:
Dr. William Tham
PMPMA

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