Managing pain is a priority during cancer treatment. The experienced pain management team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) cares for you throughout your treatment to ensure that you are comfortable.
We use a variety of modalities to treat and control pain, including:
- Prescription medications
- Implanted pain pumps
- Nerve block therapies
- Physical therapy
- Acupuncture and auriculotherapy
- Massage therapy
- Relaxation technique and guided imagery
- Chiropractic treatment
A team approach
The pain management team is fully integrated with your oncologist and other members of your team. In addition to medication, your pain management regimen may include one or more of our integrative oncology services. Some examples include:
- Naturopathic medicine uses natural therapies to help you combat pain, as well as reduce any additional side effects that may accompany your cancer treatment.
- Oncology rehabilitation plays a key role in pain management by using a variety of physical therapy and other techniques to improve mobility and trigger the release of endorphins, which are the immune system’s natural defense against pain.
- Mind-body medicine can provide relaxation tools to help you manage pain, and to reduce the anxiety and fatigue related to cancer or cancer treatment.
For patients staying at the hospital, “Comfort Rounds” are conducted twice weekly. During these visits, pain management practitioners thoroughly evaluate your current pain level and how your treatment approach is working, and make any necessary modifications to your treatment plan.
Your pain assessment
Upon your arrival at CTCA at Western Regional Medical Center, you will have an initial evaluation by the pain management team. You will be given an extensive pre-treatment history and physical exam, including appropriate lab and radiology studies. Part of this evaluation will involve an assessment of your pain.
This comprehensive assessment includes information about the following dimensions of your pain:
- Factors influencing its occurrence (i.e., what makes it better or worse)
- Observed behaviors during pain
- Psychosocial variables (e.g., attitudes, situational factors)
- Effects of therapy and patterns of coping
Once the pain management team determines your pain level, we can determine the nature of your pain, where the pain is, how long you have had pain, and what makes it better or worse. Since each person experiences cancer differently (i.e., patients vary in diagnosis, stage of disease and responses to treatments), we manage your pain on an individual basis.