About pain management

Our Acute and Persistent Pain Service provides our patients with pain management.  The management is evidence based, safe, holistic, multidisciplinary, and effective. We provide this management for people in all stages of their cancer journey. This ranges from diagnosis, through treatment to long-term follow-up. It includes patients with both current and past cancers

Experiencing pain associated with cancer and its treatments can be common. Everyone is different in their journey. Cancer pain can affect your mobility, sleep, and your mood. This can then affect your day-to-day role, be it as a parent, at work or study. Learn about our pain team and the pain management services we provide.  

Why am I experiencing pain? 

Causes for cancer pain vary and are often complex. Cancer pain can arise from cancer itself. It can also arise from cancer-related complications such as fractures. And it can arise from treatment-related complications. These complications include neuropathy, post-radiotherapy pain and post-surgical pain. 

What is acute pain? 

We define Acute pain as pain that: 

  • Comes quick  
  • Has a specific cause resulting in soft tissue injury

It goes away when we have addressed the underlying cause. 

We most often classify pain experienced following surgery as acute pain. Post-surgery pain can be severe. It can affect your mobility, sleep, deep breathing and coughing, and rehabilitation. It is thus important that we manage this well. 

What is persistent or chronic pain? 

Pain is persistent or chronic when it persists for longer than three months.  

People with cancer unfortunately experience persistent pain a lot. This is either because of the cancer itself or after treatment for cancer. This pain can persist even when someone has had curative treatment. 

This is usually a complex type of pain. An overactive nervous system can cause pain because of cancer and its treatments. There are many types of persistent pain that people experience. Examples include nerve pain or visceral pain (pain from the bowel for instance). 

There are many ways to relieve cancer pain. These include medications, interventions, and cancer treatment. They also include non-pharmacological management strategies such as physical therapy and mindfulness. We may not always be able to relieve cancer pain. You and your health professional can work towards managing it, though. 

Links related to pain management

Cancer Council NSW

Pages related to pain management