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Cancer Health Center

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Cancer Pain - Cause

Cancer pain may be caused by the cancer or by the treatments and tests used. The kind of pain may vary depending on the cause. The first step in managing your pain is understanding what is causing it.

Pain from the cancer itself can happen when:

Recommended Related to Cancer


Good communication between patients, family caregivers, and the health care team is very important in cancer care. Good communication between patients with cancer, family caregivers, and the health care team helps improve patients' well-being and quality of life. Communicating about concerns and decision making is important during all phases of treatment and supportive care for cancer. The goals of good communication in cancer care are to: Build a trusting relationship between the patient,...

Read the Overview article > >

  • A cancer growth, or tumor, presses on bones, nerves, or organs.
  • Cancer cells spread to the bone and destroy it.
  • A tumor presses on the spinal cord, causing pain in the back, legs, or neck.
  • A tumor causes organs to swell or be blocked. For example, a bowel obstruction can be caused by a tumor.

Because some cancer spreads far and fast, treatments have to be strong. As a result, they often cause pain and other side effects that require more treatment. Pressure on or damage to a nerve may cause tingling or burning. Treatments such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy may also cause pain.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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