According to the National Cancer Institute (INCA), with the exception of skin tumors, prostate cancer is the most common among men and breast cancer is the most common among women, accounting for 20.8% of the year. Still, according to the INCA survey, the incidence of chronic pain in cancer patients is extremely high, with more than 70% of the patients being reported and 44% of them being severe.
Pain in cancer patients is often caused by tumor invasion of tissues, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and bone metastases. André Mansano, a physician for interventional pain, says some types of cancer often cause more pain than others and the pain is related to the disease area.
"Nearly 95% of patients with pancreatic cancer, for example, report abdominal pain.The tumors of the osteomus and the central nervous system are also able to cause chronic pain very often, as well as tumors causing bone metastases, says the doctor.
Several studies show that 30 to 50% of cancer patients have their "under-treated" pain and for various reasons, from the idea that pain is something that the cancer patient is expecting and the uncertainty of some clinicians for prescribing stronger analgesics and diagnosis errors, among others.
"There is still a low degree of referral from this patient to the pain specialist, only 3% of patients with cancer-related pain are treated by this practitioner who could more accurately assess the source of the problem because not all pain in cancer patients comes from cancer, "explains Dr. André.
Dor Interventional Medicine is a field of medical practice that aims to diagnose and treat patients with chronic pain through minimally invasive procedures, and this specialist can greatly help control pain in cancer patients.
In cases where pain is difficult to control by medication or in cases where the side effects of drugs are very important, techniques are used to eliminate the innervation of the affected organ.
"We can intervene by applying a radio frequency current to the nerve, for example, or by injecting drugs directly into the spinal column, what we call the" Drug Injection Pump. "Studies show that proper pain treatment in cancer patients increases the shelf life of these patients, "he explains.
However, because many patients can not get relief from the medication or the side effects of drugs end up being very destructive, it is recommended to use invasive procedures without the need for cuts and hospitalization, with the patient being discharged the same day.
"The procedures vary according to the location and intensity of the pain, which is most common in the treatment of tumors in the cranial area or in the oropharyngeal, cervical, lung, breast, abdominal and bone metastases, says doctor André Mansano.
There are many medicines that can be used to treat cancer-related pain:
– simple analgesics (eg bipuron, paracetamol)
– Anti-inflammatory (eg diclofenac, gemcitabine, ketoprofen, ketorolac, etc.)
– Corticosteroids (eg dexamethasone, prednisone, prednisolone, etc.)
– Opioids (e.g., morphine, methadone, codeine, tramadol, oxycodone, etc.)
– Specific antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline, duloxetine, venlafaxine, etc.)
– Specific anticonvulsants (eg pregabalin, gabapentin)