Florida Pain Medicine is a rotation site and teaching facility for USF Health ACGME Pain Medicine Fellowship and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency.

What No One Told You About Cancer Pain

What No One Told You About Cancer Pain

Let’s begin by saying that the interventional treatments available from the team at Florida Pain Medicine can help you find relief from cancer pain. Even when opioids don’t help, or you want to reduce opioid use, our customized cancer pain management provides substantial relief.

It’s important to focus on that hope for pain relief because the reality surrounding cancer pain — the things you may not know — can be distressing and discouraging. But learning about cancer pain can help you (or your loved one with cancer) prepare for what’s ahead.

When you’re armed with knowledge, you’ll understand why it’s essential to include an experienced and compassionate pain management specialist on your oncology team from the start of your cancer journey.

Ongoing pain affects outcomes

Pain management is an integral part of your cancer treatment plan. Relieving your pain is essential for your comfort, but it also has a larger role. Ongoing pain negatively affects your overall health and may impact your long-term outlook. 

Poor pain control causes more stress and slows down healing. Living with pain affects your psychological well-being and reduces your ability to socialize — factors that dramatically influence your quality of life and ability to maintain the positive attitude needed to fight cancer.

For these reasons, you should never hesitate to talk openly and honestly about your pain and seek the specialized care you need to support your well-being.

Pain varies for each person

Pain is an expected part of cancer, but you may not struggle with it. Nearly 60% of patients have pain throughout their treatment, and 64% of people with advanced cancer report ongoing pain. You may be in the 36-40% of those who have minimal or tolerable pain.

Cancer treatments may cause pain

You expect pain to occur when the tumor presses against nerves and organs. You may not realize that the life-saving treatment you need can also cause pain.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy cause numerous painful problems, including muscle and joint pain, mouth sores, peripheral neuropathy, and tissue damage. The intravenous infusions used to deliver cancer-fighting medications may also cause additional pain syndromes.

No matter what causes your pain, our interventional treatments can help.

Cancer pain may continue after treatment

One study reports that at least one-third of patients have pain after curative treatments. Another study found that 20-50% of cancer patients continue to struggle with pain years after their treatment ends.

You should talk with your oncologist about persistent post-treatment pain to ease any worries about recurrent cancer. You can also turn to us for care that eases pain at every stage. Your life following cancer treatment should not be limited by pain.

Breakthrough cancer pain is excruciating

Breakthrough pain is a sudden flare up that occurs even when taking medication to manage chronic cancer pain. These episodes are sudden, unpredictable, and last up to an hour. Though the intensity varies, they typically cause excruciating pain.

If you experience breakthrough pain, you need treatment beyond your current medication regimen. We may recommend additional medications to take when the pain occurs or other interventional measures.

Pain management goes beyond opioids

Opioids have a vital role in cancer pain management for many patients. We specialize in medication management and also offer advanced interventional treatments that relieve pain in ways that can’t be achieved with medicines. As a result, many of our patients can reduce or stop using opioids.

A few examples of interventional cancer pain treatments include:

Whether you just learned you have cancer or you’re years beyond your last treatment, our team supports your health and well-being with personalized treatments that substantially ease your pain.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call Florida Pain Medicine, or use the online booking feature today.

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