Cancer is a malady which can affect any part of the body. It has always been feared due to sufferings and mortality associated with it. Due to improved medical facilities, early detection and better treatment 5 year survival has improved significantly in past few decades.
STATISTICS ASSOCIATED WITH PAIN IN CANCER PATIENTS:
50% patients with cancer experience pain while undergoing treatment. Also 90% patients with advanced cancer experience pain. 60-80% cancer patients present in advanced stage with 60% of them needing only pain management. Of these many patients receive less than adequate treatment of pain and 40% cancer patients die in severe pain. 30% patients are not relieved by drug treatment alone and need interventional pain management. 28% receive pain and palliative care.
CAUSES OF PAIN IN CANCER PATIENTS:
• 70% pain is due to the due to disease itself i.e tumor infiltration , nerve or plexus invasion, bony metastasis.
• 30% have pain due to therapy ie surgery, radiation, chemotherapy etc.
• Pain unrelated to cancer may also be present.
TREATMENT & PAIN MANAGEMENT IN CANCER PATIENT:
85 to 90% can be treated with systemic pharmacotherapy using WHO analgesic ladder and pain treatment continuum. Patients’ not getting adequate relief with drug treatment or needing very high doses or developing side effects can be managed with interventional pain management.
The advantage of interventional pain management is that it provides longer duration of pain relief, is minimally invasive, repeated visit to pain clinic is not needed and patients can remain pain free at home with minimal or no medication.