What is Cancer Pain Syndrome & How Can it be Treated?

“Patients with cancer, experience many acute & chronic pain syndromes, the identification of which [by a Cancer Pain Specialist], may be helpful in the assessment & treatment of pain. Syndromes are defined by the relationship with the cancer, the functional changes that accompany the syndrome or disease, & the clinical characteristics of the pain” [1]

The most common pain syndromes are directly related to the tumour; bone pain syndromes are most common. Neuropathic pain syndromes [generated by the nerves], may involve cancer-related injury at any level of the peripheral nervous system. Treatment-related pain syndromes may follow any type of antineoplastic therapy” [1] – which is blocking the formation of neoplasms growths that may become cancerous

Playing a Role in Obtaining the Most Suitable Treatment

Pain is different for everyone who is suffering from cancer, and this is why it is crucial to regularly discuss everything pertaining to your symptoms, with your Cancer Pain Doctor. Compiling a ‘Pain Dairy,’ is very beneficial, as this way, you will have a comprehensive record to show the Cancer Pain Consultant. The Pain Dairy should be drawn up into dates, the days, and 24 hour slots. For example, Monday, 8 June 10am. This way, you can make entries according to the day and time. These entries should include: the precise time of day you have pain symptoms; the type of pain you are experiencing; what you are doing at the time; and if anything ameliorates it, or makes it worse.

What Causes the Pain in Cancer Sufferers?

People are often surprised to learn that the level of pain sufferers experience, is linked to a number of different aspects. These comprise: the form of cancer, the extent and stage of the cancer, the level of tolerance, and whether the patient has any other health issues. Note: individuals who have advanced stage cancer, are more inclined to experience pain. Furthermore, cancer tests, treatments, and surgery, may also create pain [2].

Booking an Appointment With A Cancer Pain Specialist

This can be either in-person or online. Your Cancer Pain Consultant will review your medical history, ask you pertinent questions related to your condition, and if necessary, arrange for you to have an examination, tests, and scans. They will explain everything to you in easy to understand layman’s terms, and ask you if you have any questions of concerns you would like to discuss. They will then devise a holistic Personalised Treatment Plan, which is likely to include both conventional and the latest cutting-edge treatment.


[1]. Portenoy RK, Ahmed E. Cancer Pain Syndromes. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2018 Jun;32(3):371-386.

[2]. American Cancer Society (2019). “Facts About Cancer Pain.”