Cancer pain can be caused by local tumor infiltration, distant spread, tissue and organ damage and as a consequence of cancer treatment.
In recent years, primary care doctors and oncologists (cancer specialists), especially those in our area, have become quite good in managing cancer pain. It is less frequent that cancer patients are referred for pain management.
In most cases cancer pain can be controlled with either single or multiple drug therapy, with a step-ladder approach, from single to multiple, from non-narcotic to narcotic medications. Many different classes of medications are used, and these include medications such as neurolyptics and antidepressants.
It is important to treat the patient not just for pain but also for his or her sense of well-being, with the goal of treatment being helping the patient attain normal productive lifestyle. It is important to monitor treatment side-effects and be ahead of the curve in addressing problems such as sedation, constipation, weight change and nausea.