Cancer Pain Management

Pain Specialists of Austin

For cancer patients, the first step in managing cancer pain is usually taking over-the-counter medications such as pain medicine, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatories. Some try opioids and other prescription pain medicines as well.

When those fail to provide sufficient, long-lasting relief from cancer pain, it’s time to consult a doctor who specializes in pain management. Pain Specialists of Austin can perform a variety of interventional and minimally invasive procedures to help with cancer pain.

Unfortunately, many patients are not aware of pain treatments that may be available to them. If your doctor does not specialize in pain management, he or she may not be fully aware of the treatments available either. A cancer pain specialist should be consulted because no one should have to live with unnecessary pain.

If pain interferes with your life or does not resolve on its own, discuss it with your doctor and ask about pain treatment options. Request a referral to Pain Specialists of Austin if your physician cannot provide adequate information. We can reduce your cancer pain and manage it so that you can be comfortable.

Understanding Cancer Pain

Approximately one-third of people who receive treatment for cancer experience pain along with it, especially patients with cancer that has spread or reoccurred. Cancer pain comes in many different forms. It can range from a mild ache to a constant stabbing pain.

Cancer pain can result from a tumor putting pressure on the spinal cord, a bone, nerves, or an organ.  You may also experience pain from surgery, diagnostic procedures, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. People who have had a breast or limb removed may suffer phantom pain.  

Managing Cancer Pain

The best way to manage cancer pain will depend on the type of pain and how much it hurts. At Pain Specialists of Austin, we can use special nerve blocks to keep the pain signal from reaching your brain.

They type of nerve block you need depends on where the pain is coming from. Nerve blocks can be diagnostic and therapeutic, which means we can simultaneously target and treat your pain. Pain injections are also recommended for cancer pain, especially if you have spinal cord compression or any kind of spinal pain.

Treatments for Cancer Pain

There are several options for treating cancer pain when prescription pain medication doesn’t work. No one wants to endure the side effects of taking pain medicine forever, or the risk of opioid addiction, so it is important to find a solution you can live with.

At Pain Specialists of Austin, the first line of treatment for cancer pain is an interventional procedure. For patients with severe or chronic pain, an interventional procedure can provide rapid pain relief that lasts for weeks or months. Nerve blocks are also available, which is an injection of medication to the spine to block the pain altogether. We also perform neurostimulation for cancer pain, including spinal cord stimulation and an intrathecal spinal pump. Learn more about each of these below.

For large tumors, our pain management specialists may refer you for radiation therapy to shrink the tumor or to a surgeon who can remove all or part of the tumor.

Neurostimulation

Spinal cord stimulation is a minimally invasive procedure that can treat chronic pain in the trunk or limbs. Electrodes are surgically attached to the nerves in your spinal cord after a successful 7-day trial with a spinal stimulator. Learn more about spinal cord stimulator implant.

Intrathecal Pump

An intrathecal spinal pump is an implanted electronic device that delivers pain medication to the spinal cord through a small catheter to help decrease or eliminate the need to take medication orally. It is intended for patients with severe or chronic pain, including cancer pain.

To qualify as a candidate, you must be evaluated by an experienced medical psychologist and undergo an intra-spinal medication trial. If the trial is successful, you will be referred for surgery to receive the permanent implant. Learn more about intrathecal spinal pump implant.

Get Long-Lasting Relief from Cancer Pain

You might feel that because you have cancer, pain is expected and you should just deal with it. No one should have to live with pain that interrupts their life, cancer or no cancer. We are experts in pain management, and we want to help you feel your best. Call (512) 485-7200 to meet with an Austin pain specialist or request an appointment online.