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Cancer Pain Is Different

At Aspire Pain Relief Institute, we believe cancer pain is different from other pain and should be treated by physicians who have the education and experience to address it properly and comprehensively.

Aspire’s founder, Dr. Jose E. Sarria, spent a decade as Chief of the Pain Medicine Service at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida and is uniquely informed in the special needs of cancer patients.

Aspire To Be Pain Free – Contact Us Today!

Aspire To Be Pain Free
Contact Us Today!

Cancer Pain is Under-Treated

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why cancer pain patients are under served:

Doctors Don’t Always Ask Cancer Patients If They Are In Pain

Some doctors don’t know enough about the unique needs of cancer patients to offer effective pain management. Other doctors are so concerned with opioid use and potential abuse that they are reluctant to prescribe medications that could help with pain.

There Is A Very Real Fear of Pain Medication

But when prescribed and monitored properly by an informed physician, risk of addiction is actually quite low. It is possible to develop a tolerance to pain medication but that is not the same as addiction. If a patient’s pain medication stops working as well as it once did, they should talk to their doctor about addressing their dosage or changing the prescription entirely.

Some Patients Are Simply Embarrassed
To Talk To Their Doctor About Their Pain

Some patients are simply embarrassed to talk to their doctor about their pain. They don’t want to “bother” them or have their doctor think they are asking for pain pills. Still other patients don’t want to acknowledge their pain verbally because they think it means their cancer is worsening. Some feel guilty talking about pain when they know they should be grateful for surviving their cancer.

Many Patients Assume The Only Options For
Addressing Their Pain Are Medication And Surgery

Many Patients Assume The Only Options For Addressing Their Pain Are Medication And Surgery

Fear of the unknown prevents people from asking what is available to them. At Aspire Pain Relief Institute, the doctors work tirelessly to address the pain with custom treatment plans that address the individual needs of every patient.

Non-Surgical Solutions for Cancer Pain


New and robust pain relievers are released constantly. It is the role of the skilled Interventional Pain Medicine doctor to understand how medications can best be used and with what patient to effectively manage cancer pain. Depending on the type and severity of the pain, something as simple as an over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen or an NSAID (aspirin, ibuprofen) can be effective. More complicated pain cases can be helped with stronger narcotic pain relievers. Because of the potency of these types of drugs, patients undergo a thorough physical and psychological evaluation before receiving their prescription and remain under close observation for the duration of their prescription cycle.

Celiac Plexus Block and Neurolysis (CPN)

This non-surgical procedure can alleviate pain caused by cancer, chronic pain after surgery as well as other conditions. CPN has been extensively studied for the pain of cancer of the pancreas. During this procedure, a local anesthetic is injected around the nerves of the upper abdomen. To prolong the pain-relieving effect, an additional medication may be injected. Relief can last three to six months or longer. This out-patient procedure can be repeated if the pain returns.

Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block and Neurolysis

This injection-based procedure is performed for severe, chronic pelvic pain caused by cancer or other disease. Superior hypogastric block uses a local anesthetic and a neurolytic agent (typically alcohol or electric energy) to disrupt nerve pain signals through a numbing effect. The hypogastric plexus nerves are located on each side and in front of the lower spine and carry sensation to the bladder, uterus, ovaries, prostate, lower intestines, rectum and other areas within the pelvic area. The use of the neurolytic agent interrupts the actual nerve fibers to produce long-lasting pain relief in as little as 20 minutes after the injection. Superior hypogastric block is an out-patient procedure.

Tunneled Implanted Epidural Catheters

Using x-ray guidance for precision, the physician implants a very thin catheter into the epidural space of the spine. The end of the catheter sticks out from the skin and is secured to the patient’s back with tape. Pain-relieving medication is then injected into the catheter as needed. When the procedure is completed, the patient will be briefly admitted so the doctor can regulate medication to satisfaction.

Intrathecal Pumps

The intrathecal space is the fluid around the spinal cord. An intrathecal pump is a small battery-powered device that is surgically implanted in the spinal area and connected to a thin catheter. The pump sends pain medication through the catheter directly into the intrathecal space producing a powerful pain-relieving effect. Prior to surgical implant, the patient may undergo an intrathecal trial to determine their response to the medication. During the trial, a doctor will use x-ray guidance to inject the patient with a single dose of pain-relieving medication to assess their response. The permanent implantation is an out-patient procedure performed under anesthesia. The patient will need to return to the doctor’s office every one to three months to receive pump refills of their medication.

At Aspire Pain Relief Institute, we believe a cancer diagnosis does not mean that you have to live with constant pain. There are many types of solutions available. Our doctors will work tirelessly to find one that works best for you.

Contact The Physicians At Aspire Pain Relief Institute Today.