How can Southeast Pain and Spine Care help with chronic cancer pain?
Cancer is a devastating disease, and the pain that accompanies it can be debilitating. Our pain management doctors work closely with the cancer patient’s primary care physician, oncologist, surgeon, and other members of the healthcare team for aggressive cancer pain treatment. Our pain management doctors carefully review the patient’s medical history, paying specific attention to previous cancer pain treatments. If multiple pain problems are found, each is treated individually.
Our pain management doctors know that each person perceives pain differently. Each person has a unique tolerance level of pain and to the side effects of pain medications. That is why the pain management doctors at Southeast Pain and Spine Care work with the patient and the family to provide a level of relief that will enable the patient to function and enjoy life to the fullest extent possible.
What are my cancer pain treatment options?
Common pain medications used in cancer pain treatment include:
- Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory agents
- Antidepressants: tricyclic, SSRI, SNRI
- Anti-seizure medications
- Clonidine and other adjuvant medications
- Narcotic pain relievers
- Anti-anxiety medications
Pain medications can be administered in a variety of ways:
- Mouth (orally or submucosal)
- Patches containing pain medication
- Intrathecal catheters and pain pumps
- Injection (intravenous or subcutaneous)
Epidural injections may also be used for cancer pain relief. Our pain management doctors inject a short-acting anesthetic into the epidural space, an area outside the spinal cord, temporarily numbs the nerves. The anesthetic is often combined with a long acting steroid which provides long lasting cancer pain relief. Patients tend to do well with a series of three epidural injections and occasionally repeated injections after the initial series.
Are feelings of depression normal for chronic cancer pain?
Chronic cancer pain is often associated with anxiety and depression. These types of conditions can lead to loss of appetite, weakness, and sleep disturbance. Some chronic cancer pain patients can no longer participate in daily living activities, which often cause family problems. In addition, appetite and vitality can be affected in chronic cancer pain patients. Our pain management doctors are frequently consulted for cancer pain relief making the patient more comfortable with less sedation, lessening depression and improving activity.
What are therapeutic options for cancer pain relief?
A wide variety of therapies are available for cancer pain relief. When deciding the best cancer pain treatment option to use, we must take into consideration the patient’s needs and previous responses to cancer pain treatment. We encourage our patients to let their pain management doctor know about all of their chronic cancer pain symptoms so that we can tailor cancer pain treatments specifically to their needs.
Our pain management doctors use the World Health Organization guidelines when prescribing pain medications and other cancer pain treatments. These guidelines include continual monitoring of the patient to control any major side effects from drug treatment.
For additional information on cancer pain relief, please call Southeast Pain and Spine Care to schedule an appointment with one of our pain management doctors.