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Understanding and Managing Cancer Pain

What is Cancer Pain?

Cancer pain refers to the discomfort experienced by individuals who are living with cancer. It is a complex condition that can arise due to various factors, such as the tumor pressing on nerves, bones, or organs, as well as side effects from cancer treatments. Managing cancer pain is crucial to improving patients’ quality of life and supporting them in their fight against cancer.

Causes of Cancer Pain:

  1. Tumor-related Pain: Cancerous growths can directly cause pain by pressing against nerves or other sensitive structures in the body.
  2. Treatment-related Pain: Some cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery, can lead to pain as a side effect.
  3. Inflammation: Cancer can trigger inflammation, which may cause pain in the affected area.
  4. Nerve Compression: Tumors can compress nerves, leading to pain that may radiate to other parts of the body.
  5. Metastasis: When cancer spreads to bones, it can cause significant pain in those areas.

Treatment Approaches:

As a pain management specialist, Dr. Edward Rubin focuses on providing personalized and compassionate care to cancer patients. His primary goal is to help patients achieve relief from pain while minimizing the impact of treatments on their overall health. The treatment approach depends on the type and severity of pain, as well as the individual’s unique circumstances.

  1. Medications: Dr. Rubin may prescribe a range of medications, including non-opioids, opioids, and adjuvant analgesics to manage different levels of pain effectively.
  2. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy and exercises can help improve mobility and reduce pain, especially in cases where the cancer affects musculoskeletal structures.
  3. Palliative Treatments: These treatments aim to alleviate pain and improve the patient’s comfort and quality of life. They can be used alongside cancer treatments.
  4. Nerve Blocks: Minimally invasive nerve blocks involve injecting medications near specific nerves to block pain signals, providing targeted pain relief.
  5. Epidural Steroid Injections: This procedure involves delivering steroids into the epidural space, which can reduce inflammation and relieve pain in the spine or nerve roots.
  6. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): RFA is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat to destroy nerves causing pain, providing long-lasting relief.
  7. Neurolytic Blocks: In cases of severe pain, Dr. Rubin may recommend neurolytic blocks, where chemicals are used to destroy nerves causing pain.
  8. Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS): SCS involves implanting a device that delivers mild electrical impulses to the spinal cord, disrupting pain signals and reducing pain perception.
  9. Intrathecal Pumps: An intrathecal pump is a small device about the size of a hockey puck implanted under the skin to deliver medication directly into the spinal fluid. It’s like a tiny, specialized drug dispenser that helps manage chronic pain or certain neurological conditions. By delivering medicine directly to the spinal cord, it can provide targeted relief with lower doses and fewer side effects compared to traditional oral medications.

Schedule an Appointment:

If you or a loved one is struggling with cancer pain, don’t hesitate to seek help from an experienced pain management specialist like Dr. Edward Rubin. He understands the challenges of living with cancer pain and will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that focuses on conservative and minimally invasive procedures. Take the first step towards a better quality of life by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Rubin’s clinic today.