Dr. Mark Axness: We feel that non-pharmaceutical methods of treating pain are very important. They tend to be much more natural and holistic in nature. We use a lot of physical therapy we use mind-body medicine in the department frequently. We also use naturopathy and one of the treatments that we use a lot of is auriculotherapy, which is a kin to acupuncture, tends to be very helpful with a lot of symptoms associated with patients' disease process, as well as the treatment itself.
Judy Gondek: We use a lot of modalities to treat the patient’s pain, not just oral medications, we have IV medications, we have anesthesiologists that can do some blocks for the patients. Point being if one thing doesn’t work, there’s something else that we can call on that does. Our pain management department is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So because we have patients that come from so far away if their back in New York and they have a pain question at 2’oclock in the morning, we expect them to pick up the phone and call us.
Dr. Joel Granick: Based on types of cancer, pain management for example and other forms of palliative care can be different. Particularly, for example, pancreatic pain often has a pain which exists in the mid-stomach and radiates to the back. Often this can be handled by doing what’s called a celiac plexus block which is a block that can actually function for up to six months and relieve a good deal of pain. There are other blocks that our anesthesiologists can provide. We also then have various types of pain medications and in certain circumstances for example, disease that involves bone, these are treated with medicines, not necessarily with narcotic medications but with other medications which can be even more effective. So again, one has to know the disease, where it’s at, what’s causing the pain, and then one can figure out how to best deal with that pain.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, we use a variety of modalities to ease pain patients may experience due to cancer or cancer treatment. Hear how our experts help to control cancer pain and improve patients' quality of life.