The experience of cancer pain is complex and includes physical, psychosocial and spiritual dimensions. We recognize that pain that interferes with walking ability, normal work, relationships with other people and enjoyment of life is associated with anxiety and depression. Cancer pain can be managed effectively in up to 90 percent of the 8 million Americans who have cancer or a history of cancer. Unfortunately, pain associated with cancer is frequently undertreated.
Evaluation and Assessment
The goal of our initial pain assessment is to determine its intensity and its impact on your ability to function. The initial assessment includes:
- A detailed medical and pain history
- A physical examination
- A psychological and spiritual assessment
- A diagnostic evaluation
Although cancer pain and its associated symptoms may not be entirely eliminated, appropriate use of available therapies can effectively relieve pain in most people. Pain management improves quality of life throughout all stages of the disease. Because patients with advanced cancer experience multiple pain symptoms at the same time, a systemic symptom assessment and appropriate management is important to quality of life.
Our approach to cancer pain management is focused on the patient. We ask about pain regularly and discuss symptoms with each of our patients, asking them to identify their most troublesome symptoms. We listen closely to patient and family reports about pain and what provides relief, and choose pain-control options that are appropriate to the patient, family and setting. We are committed to delivering interventions in a timely, logical and coordinated fashion.
We believe in empowering our patients and their families to control the course of treatment as much as possible during the pain management process.