In advanced cancer stages, it is primarily the pain that weighs on many patients. But there are good therapies with modern painkillers like opioids.
Classification of Pain
Pain in cancer occurs in approximately 50 to 70 percent of all tumors affected by a tumor. The strength and frequency of the pain is perceived very differently and depends on factors such as personal pain perception, the type of tumor and the stage of the disease.
Cancer Pain can vary greatly depending on the type of cancer and the particular trigger.
Bone pain, for example, is caused by leukemia or secondary tumors (metastases) in bones. Irritation of the bone surrounding the bone can lead to inflammation and swelling. The bone mass can be broken down. The pain occurs initially only during exercise and later also at rest.
Organ pain: They arise when tumors expand and press on surrounding organs, grow into them or close up hollow organs, such as ureters. The pain is convulsive or as pressure and tension pain.
Nerve Pain: Growing tumors and swelling may press on nerves. Tumors can even grow into nerve tissue. Even radiation and chemotherapy or surgery can lead to nerve damage and associated pain.
Pain due to poor blood circulation: It may be that certain parts of the body are no longer adequately supplied with blood and oxygen by the tumor because blood vessels are blocked. This leads to the affected body part to pain due to poor circulation.
Muscle and skin pain: Pressing and ingrowing tumors can irritate, destroy and cause pain to the skin or nerves. Other causes include inflamed wounds after surgery or irritation after radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Pain after surgery
Pain after surgical procedures such as tissue sampling (biopsies) usually pass when healing occurs. Often it comes only months after surgery on particularly sensitive parts of the body to burning pain. After amputations sufferers occasionally report burning pains that occur in spurts. Phantom pain is then discussed when it comes to pain in the area of the body part. In contrast, stump pains are pains originating from newly formed nerve fibers.
Pain from chemotherapy
pain and irritation that occur during chemotherapy are caused by the medication given. The result of chemotherapy can be painful mucosal inflammation and tingling and burning hands and feet. Often the symptoms only appear some time after the treatment.
Pain from radiotherapy
On the irradiated skin, it may come after treatment to pain that resemble those of a sunburn. The skin is red and burns. Spasmodic abdominal pain is the result of intestinal irradiation, while sore throat is one of the possible complaints after irradiation of the air or esophagus. Radiation therapy near the armpits or spine can damage nerves and also cause pain.