Dr. Taylor W. Lewis is an Anesthesiologist who specializes in treating cancer-related pain or pain associated with cancer treatment. He trained at the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Texas Medical Center. He has a very in-depth look at this specific cancer patient population.
Below Dr. Lewis answers a few questions about cancer-related and post-surgical pain.
What is Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy?
The first thing I would like to touch on is something called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Sometimes, patients receiving chemotherapy treatment for their cancer start to develop numbness or a tingling sensation in their hands or feet, and it can be very bothersome at times. I like to take a very balanced approach to this with medication therapy, and at times we have seen other modalities provide an element of relief. Injections, sometimes implantable devices, can help improve overall functionality.
What About Treating Other Types of Cancer-Related Pain?
I like to focus on any pathologies that patients might have in their abdominal or pelvic cavity. Or even anorectal area that causes a lot of visceral, or dull, aching pain. Pain that is constant and not localized; or tends to move from one location to another. This problem is commonly seen with pathologies involving the liver and pancreas, stomach, large and small intestine, uterus, and the rectal area. We have injections and techniques that we can use to help provide relief for these kinds of cancer pain. These will help eliminate the number of medications you are taking. Moreover, you don’t have to experience the extensive side effects with these medications: drowsiness, constipation, or just overall fatigue.
Is Chronic Post-Surgical Pain Treatable?
Lastly, patients who had cancer in the past sometimes require extensive surgeries, debulking surgeries, and mastectomies. While these surgeries can provide relief from a cancer standpoint, they can sometimes leave patients with severe pain afterward that is not well controlled. The most commonly seen diagnoses are chronic post-surgical pain, chronic post-mastectomy pain, chronic post-thoracotomy pain for patients with some thoracic cancer diagnoses. We always want to approach these with conservative therapy first, including appropriate rehabilitation and medications. More interventional techniques can be taken advantage of to limit medication usage and overall side effect profiles.
You can watch the video below to hear Dr. Lewis talk about pain associated with cancer treatment, or you can visit his Physician Page for more information.
The information presented in this article and video are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to treat or diagnose, nor are they intended as a substitute for seeking care from a qualified healthcare professional.