At the time of cancer diagnosis, between 30 and 50% of patients experience pain - a prevalence that in advanced stages of the disease can reach 70-90%. In advanced cancer disease, 70% of the pain is due to the progression of the disease itself, while the remaining 30% is related to treatments and associated pathologies.
Most cases of cancer pain originate from the compression of the tumour in bones, nerves or other organs. Sometimes, the pain is also caused by treatments - for example, some types of chemotherapy can cause paralysis and tingling of the hands and feet; they can also be the cause of a burning sensation at the injection site. Radiotherapy can also cause redness and skin irritation. When pain is insufficiently controlled, it can significantly interfere with daily activities and have a negative impact on the quality of life of patients.
Oncological pain can be acute or chronic. Acute pain is due to damage caused by a specific injury and tends to last for a short time, for example after surgery. Chronic pain is due to changes in the nerves - either because the tumour compresses the nerves or because of the chemical agents produced by the tumour. Treatments for cancer can also cause changes in the nerves.
TYPES OF CANCER:
- Nerve pain
- Bone pain
- Soft tissue pain
- Phantom pain
- Referred pain