What Does It Feel Like?
The type of
cancer pain you feel depends on the type of cancer you
have and how it affects your body. For example:
- Deep, aching pain. A
tumor that presses on your bones or grows into your bones can cause deep,
aching pain. Bone pain is the most common type of cancer
- Burning pain. A tumor that presses on
a nerve can cause a burning feeling. Sometimes chemotherapy, radiation, or
surgery damages nerves and causes burning pain. Nerve pain is the second most
common type of cancer pain.
- Phantom pain.
Pain that is felt in the area where an arm or a breast has been removed is
phantom pain. Although the body part is gone, nerve
endings at the site still send pain signals to the brain. The brain thinks the
body part is still there.
Acute pain is bad pain that lasts a short time. Chronic
pain is pain that comes and goes for a long time. It is a side effect of the
cancer or treatment. Chronic pain can range from mild to severe. Breakthrough pain is strong pain that occurs while you are taking medicines that usually control your pain. This kind of pain usually begins
suddenly and lasts for a short period of time.
Not everyone feels pain in the same way. Only you can describe how much
pain you have. The key to getting your pain under control is being able to tell
your doctor what it feels like and what does and doesn't work for you.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Michael Seth Rabin, MD - Medical Oncology
October 31, 2011
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