Pain may be caused by different factors including diagnostic procedures, cancer treatment, the cancer itself, and other reasons not related to cancer. Pain, if not treated, may impact on the quality of life of cancer patients. This is because pain is not only a physical experience but also a psychological and social experience. Pain may interfere with activities of daily living, work, and interpersonal interactions.
Pain can be controlled with effective pain medications. Patients should notify their health care team if they are experiencing pain, so the appropriate pain treatment is implemented. Pain treatments include a combination of modalities such as analgesics (pain medications), adjuvant medications (increase the analgesic effect of pain medications), anesthetics, massage, use of heat and cold, relaxation, exercise and more.
Pain management programs are available through the Abramson Cancer Center and the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital.