More commonly referred to simply as “cancer pain,” oncologic pain is the most undertreated side effect of cancer. Those suffering with cancer on any site can, and often do experience high levels of pain, and they can be difficult to manage. What is oncologic pain? It’s a nightmare for those who experience it. We offer pain care management for people suffering from oncologic pain.
Oncologic Pain: Tumors
When you’re suffering from cancer, your tumors could be pressing on your bones. More than that, they could be pressing directly onto your nerves. That’s going to make for sever discomfort, and it’s also going to persist through all hours of the day.
Your oncologic pain could be due to a tumor growing in a specific direction. When it presses down on your bones, you get the same feeling of growing pains from when you were a child or teenager. It can feel like muscle aches instead of sharp pain. Oncologic pain can start out very mild, and increase over a short amount of time. Your body doesn’t adjust to the different types of pain.
You can also experience oncologic pain in various areas of your body. For example, those tumors can be growing and pressing on specific nerves that mimic different types of pain. You could end up being diagnosed with chronic pain.
What Type of Oncologic Pain Do You Have?
There are virtually endless types of pain that you can endure. The most common is chronic pain, where tumors press down on your nerves, and make everything go haywire. If you’re experiencing acute levels of pain, it could be your body telling you that something isn’t right. It’s not always clear.
Even though tumors and cancer grow inside of our body, the rest of your body can still see it as a foreign object or entity. This means that a bunch of signals are going off, usually in the form of oncologic pain, and they are all trying to tell you that something isn’t right. While it can be frustrating, it’s also a sign to look further into your own health. If you are already suffering from oncologic pain and you know it, getting another evaluation to determine if there are more underlying issues could be in your best interest.
Pain Severity Depends on the Site
If you’re experiencing an increasing level of oncologic pain, it could be due to a number of reasons. More often than not, it’s tumor growth. Your different levels of pain could come in at different stages, especially if you have more than one tumor at a time.
Oncologic pain doesn’t have a scale, but when you go to your general doctors office and see the “1 to 10” pain chart, you always feel like it’s hovering around the top end of the scale. It’s not dramatic to say that—oncologic pain is something that’s very difficult to put into words.
Your bones may be experiencing extreme tension and pressure due to various tumor growth patterns. Every diagnosis of oncologic pain is unique to the patient. There’s no way to determine if nerve pressure or bone pressure is more painful—it’s also about the patients’ pain tolerance threshold.
It’s not just your bones and major nerves—you could be experiencing pain due to damage done to soft tissue. For instance, if you are experiencing pain in your lower back, it could actually be due to the fact that you have incurred soft tissue damage to a vital organ, such as your kidney.
The term sounds insensitive to those suffering from oncologic pain, but in reality, it’s just used to describe pain in an area that has been removed. If you suffered from breast cancer, and you’ve since had that breast removed, you may still feel pain in that area. It’s still classified as oncologic pain, and may continue to hurt for some time. It’s also more common than you may think. If you had something removed, such as a limb, you’re among a vast majority of those suffering from phantom pain. It’s constantly affecting those who have had organs or appendages removed as a direct result of cancer.
Managing Your Oncologic Pain the Right Way
It’s not an easy thing to deal with. Contact us, the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho, at (208) 629-2492, to find out what we can do to help you manage your oncologic pain. It’s not an easy road to go down, and you shouldn’t have to go it alone. We can help.