Cancer Pain Syndromes

Definition

About one-third of people with cancer have pain. There are different types of cancer pain affected by:
  • Progression of the disease
  • Location in the body
  • Overall physical condition

Causes

Based on the cause of pain, researchers have defined different cancer pain syndromes, including:
  • Pain from the tumor—Tumors can press on bone, nerves, or an organ, resulting in pain.
  • Pain related to cancer therapy—This may include pain from:
  • Pain unrelated to the cancer or treatment—This refers to pain in people with cancer that has nothing to do with the illness or its treatment. It may include:
Chemotherapy Affects the Whole Body
Chemotherapy
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Risk Factors

Having cancer is the main risk factor for cancer pain.

Symptoms

Any type of pain experienced by someone with cancer can be considered cancer pain. The pain may be near or far from the location of the tumor. The intensity can vary. It may be chronic or off and on. The pain can be described as pressure, sharp, dull, throbbing, burning, stabbing, and achy.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Special tests may also be done to determine possible causes of the pain.Imaging tests evaluate bodily structures to find the source of pain, such as bone fractures and lesions. These may include:Your doctor may need to evaluate you for nerve disorders. This can be done with:

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