Does Cancer Hurt?
Cancer Pain

Treating Cancers in Women

Cancer Treatments


• Does Cancer Hurt
• Types Of Cancer Pain
• Does Cancer Hurt When You Push It?

Does Cancer Hurt?

At first no, not usually. Most people are surprised (as well as horrified) to discover that they have cancer because they often 'feel fine'.

Cancer pain is associated more with:

1. Cancer Treatments (they can hurt!)

As with any major surgery, surgery to remove cancer tumors often causes some pain. The surgical incision area needs to heal, and your body is likely to feel sore and bruised. Nerve pain is another issue. Nerves are cut during the surgery and they take time to heal, some people have pain around their surgical scar for up to 2 years after surgery. The pain eventually fades. Nerve pain can also result from chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

2. The Stage Of Cancer

Advanced stages of cancer, where a tumor is pressing on another organ or nerves, causes pain.

3. Location Of Cancer In The Body

Cancer of the head or neck for example tends to be particularly painful because there are lots of nerves in this area.

Types Of Cancer Pain

1. Nerve Pain

Medically called neuropathic pain, nerve pain is caused by damage to nerves or pressure on the nerves by a tumor. It feels can feel like a shooting, tingling or burning pain.

2. Bone Pain

If cancer spreads to the bones, it causes damage to the bone tissue which leads to pain. Pain feels like a dull ache or throbbing 'in your bones'.

3. Other Aches

If an organ is affected by cancer it can cause muscle aches in the general area. For example damage to the kidney can lead to a pain in the back - pain may be an ache, sharp pain or throbbing.

4. Phantom Pain

This is pain which occurs in a part of the body removed by surgery. For example, women who have a breast removed (mastectomy) often report pain in the area. This pain can be unbearable sometimes. Doctors still don't understand what causes phantom pain, but about 1/3 of women who have a breast remove experience it. Mostly it goes away after a few months.

Does Cancer Hurt When You Push It?

"I have a small lump on my breast which is sore to push, is it cancer?'

A cancer lump tends to be hard, not moveable when you push it, and it is not sore. If the lump moves under your finger and is tender, it is more likely to be a common breast cyst. Cysts tend to increase and reduce in size according to your menstrual cycle. A cancer lump persists and grows larger. If in any doubt, always have a lump checked out by your doctor.

Related Questions:

Cancer Treatment Options
What is the best treatment for cancer?
It's Not Always Cancer!
What can cause a breast lump?
  Related Articles on Cancer

For more on treatments, prevention and causes, see the following:

Cancer Prevention - Tips for avoiding the disease.
Cancer Causes- Smoking, sun, genetics: know your risk factors.
Treatment of Endometrial Cancer
Breast Cancer Guide

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