Cancer is a disease that strikes millions of people worldwide every year and the various types of this condition all are accompanied by the sensation of pain at one stage or another. As with every other imbalance in the body our system is designed to recognize cancer symptoms as a signal that things are out of order, and pain is a natural way the body lets us know that trouble is ongoing. Pain accompanying cancer is divided into several categories.
Somatic Pain Symptoms
This refers to nerve endings that are close to a pain source, either deep within the body or near the surface. Nerves that detect abnormal growth or chemicals inside the body respond by signaling the brain and we experience this as a dull ache if deep within tissue or a sharp burning if near the surface. Somatic pain is present when nerves themselves are damaged and can no longer function properly.
If a large bundle of nerves is being stretched, pushed to one side or split by an abnormal growth or bone fracture, the pain can be felt as a sharp tingling or burning sensation. In other words the nervous system as a whole is being affected and cancer is a leading cause of this kind of pain, as malignant tumors or even the chemotherapy administered as cancer treatment can cause this unpleasant sensation.
Visceral refers to the internal organs and if there is unusual activity near a vital organ the nerves that are embedded in the tissue react by sending messages to the brain interpreted by individuals as a throbbing ache. It is difficult to localize the source of the pain associated with damage or growths in internal organs and the condition is considered extremely serious.
Treatments For Cancer Pain
Once the diagnosis is made by a medical professional the pain associated with cancer is categorized as either acute or chronic. In both cases a specialized pain reliever may be required to relieve the patient of suffering. Cancer patients that are already taking medications or undergoing chemotherapy are often prescribed a drug for pain medication, usually an opiate type of analgesic, however each case is different because prescription pain relievers can interact with other drugs already being taken. Therefore a number of cancer pain relief medications are available and a doctor will decide which is correct for the patient.
Cancer pain is one of the ways that the body tells us something is wrong, but once the cause is determined there are reliable treatments for both the disease and the experience of pain. Because of the seriousness of this disease, following any prescription directions exactly as ordered is vital in treating pain while not aggravating the overall condition.