Not everyone battling cancer experiences significant pain, but many do. If you are dealing with the pain related to your cancer or cancer treatments, the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia can help with comprehensive cancer pain management in Brunswick and Kingsland, GA.
What is Cancer Pain?
There are many different types and causes of cancer pain—and while not everyone who has cancer will necessarily have cancer pain, a large number of people do.
Some cancer patients suffering with cancer pain may feel achy, dull, sharp, or burning pains, and it may take on intermittent, constant, mild, moderate, or severe forms. There are a number of factors which may contribute to the type of pain a patient might experience, such as the type of cancer they have, how advanced it is, where it is located, and the patient’s pain threshold.
What Causes Cancer Pain?
This pain may come from a tumor putting pressure on nerves or it can be a result of the cancer treatment. Some chemotherapy drugs, for example, may cause a burning feeling at the site in which the drug was injected, or they may cause sensations of tingling or numbness in the hands and feet. With radiotherapy, patients may see the development of irritation and redness of the skin.
What Are the Types of Cancer Pain?
The pain of cancer can come in many forms. It’s important to identify the type of the pain to develop the best pain management treatment.
Also often referred to as neuropathic pain, nerve pain is caused when pressure occurs on the spinal cord, on the nerves, or when the nerves are damaged. This kind of nerve pain is often described as a burning, tingling, or shooting sensation, or the feeling of something crawling under the skin. Nerve pain can also often be more difficult than other types of pain to treat.
With some people, long-term nerve pain may occur following surgery. During surgery, nerves are cut, and they may take a long time to heal due to their slow growth rate. The pain should subside eventually, however.
Nerve pain can also occur following other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Bone tissue may be damaged as a result of cancer spreading into the bone. The cancer may affect several areas, or just one specific area. Bone pain may also be known as somatic pain, and this type of pain is often described by those suffering with it as dull, throbbing, or achy.
Soft Tissue Pain
Soft tissue pain refers to pain stemming from an organ, muscle, ligament, or tendon. This pain cannot always be pinpointed, however, it’s most commonly described as cramping, aching, throbbing, or sharp. Soft tissue pain may also be referred to as visceral pain.
Phantom Limb Pain
Phantom pain refers to the sensation of feeling pain in a part of the body that has been removed, such as pain in the breast area following a mastectomy. Despite how it may sound, phantom pain is very real, and can often be unbearable.
While no resolute conclusion has been achieved pertaining to just why phantom limb pain happens, it has been theorized that the thinking section of the brain knows that this part of the body has gone, however the feeling section of the brain isn’t able to fully understand this. Poor pain control at the time of the surgery could also be another possible cause.
It’s not at all uncommon for people to feel pain in one part of the body that is in reality coming from another area. If a swollen liver is causing pain in the right shoulder, for example, then this is because the liver is compressing nerves which end in the shoulder.
How is Cancer Pain Treated in Brunswick, GA?
The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia offers tailored treatment plans to significantly ease cancer pain. Potential treatment options include:
- Injections and Nerve Blocks
- There are a range of nerve blocks and pain injections that can help manage cancer pain with local anesthetics, steroids, and other medications that block nerve pain signals.
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
- This procedure implants a PNS device along the peripheral nerves responsible for your pain. The device delivers rapid electrical impulses that train the brain to ignore pain signals from nerves.
- This minimally invasive surgical procedure treats painful vertebral compression fractures which can be caused by bone cancer.
If you are dealing with pain from cancer, cancer treatment, or a previous battle with cancer, contact us to schedule a consultation. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia offers a range of effective treatments for men and women in Brunswick and Kingsland, GA.