Chronic Pain

Pain that persists for usually longer than 3 months is considered chronic or persistent.

Chronic pain is unfortunately commonly experienced by people with cancer, either as a result of the cancer itself or after treatment for cancer.  This pain can persist even when someone has had curative treatment.

There are many types of pain that people experience, examples include nerve pain or visceral pain (pain from the bowel for instance).

Chronic pain services

The Peter Mac pain team includes four specialists recognised by the Australian faculty of pain medicine as pain medicine specialists. These doctors have undergone many years of training to specialise in this way. 

In addition these specialists have links with the other specialists at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, pain specialists locally and throughout the state and liaise with specialists throughout the world. Three of these four specialists are also interventional pain specialist and the other is a consultant in palliative medicine and general practice.

Most of the other specialists involved in cancer care, particularly palliative care specialists and oncologists will undertake management of your pain and close liaisons with your other specialists is vital. 

Treatments

Medications

There are many different medications available to pain specialists and we often have to try several different drugs or combinations to get the right treatment.

Physical treatments (including interventions)

Physical treatment ranges from the expertise of physiotherapists to intervention

Psychosocial management

Psychosocial management is vital in the management of chronic pain.  We ask most of our patients to liaise with the psychosocial team as we recognise that cancer and its treatment is a significant cause of stress, worry and affects mood, sleep, relationships etc.

These treatment options will be decided by these pain specialists during consultations with you.  Consultations occur in the acute and persistent pain clinic that occurs weekly in outpatients.

Clinic times

Fortnightly on Tuesdays and alternate weeks on Fridays.

Referral information

Your specialist or general practitioner can arrange referrals to this service by faxing a referral to the APCP service or by contacting the service during hours.

All referrals from a epcialist or general practitioner can be attentioned to Dr’s Hucker, Sullivan and Chou, Pain management.

For more information about referring a patient, please visit our referrals page.

Related experts

Dr Tim Hucker

Dr Jason Chou

To find out more about our pain team please visit our experts page.