October 13

Cancer and the Side Effect of Pain: Tracking Your Pain Levels

Cancer And The Side Effects Of Cancer Treatment Can Cause Pain

With more than 14 million cancer survivors in the United States, as many as 40% experience persistent treatment-related pain. The type of pain you have depends on the type of cancer, its stage, and your level of pain tolerance. Pain can range from acute to chronic or persistent pain and can vary in intensity throughout the day.

It may be helpful to consider keeping track of pain levels with a daily log. Answering the following questions in the logbook will help better describe the pain to healthcare providers.

  • What part of the body feels painful?
  • What does the pain feel like i.e. sharp, burning, shooting, or throbbing?
  • When does the pain start and how long does it last?
  • Which activities, such as eating, sleeping, etc., does pain interfere?
  • What makes the pain feel better or worse? For example, ice packs, heating pads, or exercises? Does pain medicine decrease the pain? If so, what is the dosage?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how does the pain rank? Where 10 is the most painful and 1 is pain free.

According to The National Cancer Institute, controlling pain is an important part of a cancer treatment plan. Pain can suppress the immune system, increase the length of time for the healing process, interfere with sleep, and affect mood.

Talk with a healthcare professional about the pain, especially if:

  • the pain isn’t getting better or going away with pain medicine
  • the pain comes on quickly
  • the pain makes it hard to eat, sleep, or perform your normal activities
  • experienced new pain
  • experienced side effects from the pain medicine such as sleepiness, nausea, or constipation

Quality of life is greatly affected when suffering from agonizing pain. Pain and Spine Specialists will work with you and your doctors to develop a managed pain plan that is individualized to you.

Our primary goal at Pain and Spine Specialists is to improve your quality of life and overall functionality through comprehensive treatment.
Pain is a sign from your body there is something off balance. If any of the above criteria or symptoms ring true to you

Call us in Maryland at 301-703-8767 | View MD Providers), in Pennsylvania at 724-603-3560 (View PA Providers) or in Virginia (540-433-1905 | View VA Providers)to make an appointment or use the form on our site to send us a message.We can review not only your pain symptoms but your treatment plan to get you where you want to be and enhance your quality of living of decreased pain.


  1. Paice JA, Portenoy R, Lacchetti C, et al. Management of Chronic Pain in Survivors of Adult Cancers: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline [published online before print July 25, 2016]. J Clin Oncol.
  2. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects. Retrieved 2016-10-11.


Cancer, Pain, Tracking Pain Levels

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