How is Cancer Pain Assessed?
The assessment of cancer pain is an ongoing process which requires constant attention to new pain.
When a cancer patient complains of pain, the doctor usually focuses on identifying the cause of pain and developing a pain management plan.
The origin of pain can be determined with the help of physical exam and medical tests.
The description of pain is indicative of the source of pain. It is also important to determine the intensity and character of pain. For example, pain caused by damage to nerves is often described as burning or tingling, whereas pain affecting internal organs is usually described as a sensation of pressure.
To keep track of the pain, the doctor advises the patient to note down how strong it is, where it is located, what makes it worse, what brings it on, what makes it better and anything else that happens when the patient experiences pain.
For better understanding of the pain, the doctor may give the patient a questionnaire or a pain intensity scale.