Pain can be caused by cancer, cancer treatment, or a combination of factors. Tumors, surgery, intravenous chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, supportive care therapies such as bisphosphonates, and diagnostic procedures may cause cancer pain.
Patients may have different types of pain depending on the treatments they receive, including:
- Postoperative pain
- Spasms, pain, stinging, and itching caused by intravenous chemotherapy.
- Mucositis (sores or inflammation in the mouth or other parts of the digestive system) caused by chemotherapy or targeted therapy.
- Ostealgia (bone pain) caused by treatment with the drugs, filgrastim or pegfilgrastim, which are granulocyte colony-stimulating factors that help the body make more white blood cells.
- Peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness, tingling, swelling, or muscle weakness in hands or feet) caused by chemotherapy or targeted therapy.
- Pain in joints and muscles throughout the body caused by drugs, paclitaxel or aromatase inhibitor
- Osteonecrosis of the jaw caused by bisphosphonates given for cancer that has spread to the bone.
- Avascular necrosis (death of tissue or bone due to lack of blood supply) caused by long-term use of corticosteroids.
- Pain syndromes caused by radiation therapy, including:
- Pain from brachytherapy.
- Pain from lying in the same position during treatment.
- Mucositis (inflammation of the mucous membranes in areas that were treated with radiation).
- Dermatitis (inflammation of the skin in areas that were treated with radiation).
- Pain flares (a sudden increase of pain in the treated area).
- Peripheral neuropathy-numbness or tingling in hands and feet-usually from chemotherapy or chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).