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Cancer pain can be a major struggle – adding suffering to an already very difficult situation. When an individual experiences pain, it is not just limited to a part of the body – it affects almost every aspect of their life. Dr. Nader Pouratian provides effective treatment of cancer pain in Dallas to improve cancer patients’ quality of life.
Cancer pain, depending upon the type and intensity, can consume a lot of attention and hinder daily activities. It can make it difficult to focus on work and can cause trouble sleeping or eating. For those with little time left, it can make their remaining time very difficult.
Pain can also cause you to feel alone and depressed, since people around you often do not understand the full extent of the pain. This can lead to irritation and frustration.
The intensity of cancer pain depends on factors such as the stage of cancer, its type, and the pain threshold of the individual.
What Causes Cancer Pain?
There are a number of potential causes of cancer pain. Sometimes, the chosen cancer treatment method causes pain. A surgical removal procedure can leave behind lingering pain. Headache and soreness are also common. Most often, it is simply the spread of the cancer throughout the body, especially to the bones, that causes pain. The pain can be quite severe and may require assistance.
Cancer Pain Treatment Options
There are several treatments available to offer relief from cancer pain. These treatment options are an effective and essential part of cancer therapy.
Cingulotomy focuses on the part of the brain that associates pain with feeling of suffering. A probe is used to target the region, and then highly precise lesions are created. This relieves pain in 60-70% of patients. In some cases, patients will report that they still feel the pain but that it no longer bothers them. The procedure is quite safe and offers effective results.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-invasive procedure that uses a high dose of radiation. It is often used to shrink tumors. In the case of cancer, the most effective targets for pain are the thalamus or the pituitary gland. When we treat the pituitary gland, it is called a radiosurgical hyophysectomy. A very high dose of radiation is focused on these regions, often resulting in pain relief within 1 week. The treatment is so precise that it can deliver radiation in such a way that it avoids damage to surrounding tissues. Radiosurgical hyophysectomy can cause hormone irregularities in the long term, so is usually used in patients who are seeking comfort towards the end of their disease.
Myelotomy is a surgical procedure conducted in the spinal cord. The procedure involves making precise incisions in the midline transverse fibers of the spinal cord, where the sensory nerves are located. This interrupts pain signals to the brain, reducing pain related to cancerous tumors. This is most often used for patients with midline pain, like in the abdomen or pelvis.
Cordotomy is a surgical procedure also conducted in the spinal cord. The procedures involves precisely placing a needle in the spinal cord using xray guidance. The needle is then used to precisely burn or lesion the tracts that carry the painful sensations from the body up to the brain. This is usually best for patients with pain on one side of the body.
Learn more about Dr. Nader Pouratian’s treatment options for cancer pain for Dallas patients – contact our office and arrange your informative consultation.