Which Therapy to Treat Cancer Pain Is Right for Me?

Trying to navigate a cancer diagnosis can be challenging enough. But, when you add the pain from your illness or treatment, it can make things even harder.

Fortunately, the team at Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers can help. We specialize in treating pain conditions, including those associated with cancer. Plus, with five locations, including a new office in Las Vegas, it’s easy to find pain relief near you.

Here are a few ways a pain management specialist can help.

Pain assessment

First, we perform a comprehensive assessment to learn more about your condition and treatment history. This process can help us get a better sense of your unique situation and pain. For example, cancer pain can develop for several reasons, including:

You can also experience “phantom” pain after having part of your body removed during cancer treatment.

A pain assessment also gives us an opportunity to get to know you better and learn more about your likes and dislikes as well as your responses to pain and treatments. Based on your pain assessment, we may recommend a variety of solutions, such as steroid injections, nerve blocks, epidural injections, or complementary therapies.

Steroid injections

Inflammation may be your body’s natural response to fighting infection, but it can cause intense pain, swelling, and stiffness. If you have joint or tendon inflammation, a steroid injection could provide significant relief.

Common areas for steroid injections include:

It often takes 3-4 days to get the full results of a steroid injection, but the effects typically last 3-4 weeks or longer.

Nerve blocks

If you have one or two specific nerves causing your symptoms, a nerve block could be the perfect answer. With a nerve block, an anesthetic is injected into and around the nerves causing your pain. This approach helps interrupt pain signals going to your brain, making it a highly effective short-term solution.

For pain relief with longer staying power, your injection could also contain phenol or alcohol. These substances can destroy the nerve tissue, thus eliminating the pain signals indefinitely.

Epidural injections 

Epidural injections can also help with nerve pain. However, unlike nerve blocks — which work best with pain in a limited area — epidurals can address pain that’s more widespread. During this treatment, we inject a powerful medication into the epidural space just outside your spinal cord. This process delivers medication to the nerve tissue causing your pain.

Neuromodulation 

This innovative pain management approach involves disrupting the pain signals going to your brain with low-voltage electrical currents. 

There are several types of neuromodulation. One noninvasive approach that’s been around since the 1970s is known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). With this treatment, we apply stimulation to areas beneath your skin with electrode patches.

Minimally invasive neuromodulation systems involve spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS). These therapies use implantable devices to block pain signals going to your brain. An SCS device targets nerves within the spine, while a PNS system targets nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord.

Radiofrequency ablation

If you have cancer cells that are causing pain, radiofrequency ablation could help. With this minimally invasive procedure, we insert a needle into the cancer cells and use high-frequency energy to kill them. 

This treatment comes with virtually no downtime or serious side effects, but you may have mild bruising or swelling for a few days.

Complementary therapies

In addition to medical treatments, we may also recommend complementary therapies as part of your pain management strategy. Not only can these techniques help relieve acute pain, but they can also help with chronic pain management.

Examples of complementary therapies include:

Because everyone responds differently to pain and treatment, we work closely with you to create a personalized strategy to help you feel your best and keep symptoms under control. 

You don’t have to live with cancer pain. We can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers today. We have five locations, including a new office in Las Vegas.

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