• Pain from the tumor. Most cancer pain occurs when a
tumor presses on bone, nerves, or body organs, and may
vary according to location, (i.e., a small tumor
pressing on a nerve or vital organ may cause severe
pain, while a larger tumor elsewhere may cause little
• Pain from cancer treatment. Cancer treatments,
including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation may also
cause pain. Painful conditions are more likely to occur
in patients whose immune system has been suppressed as a
result of these therapies.
• Pain from other causes. Like everyone else, cancer
patients have pain that has no relationship to their
illness. Headaches, muscles strains, or other aches and
pains associated with arthritis, kidney stones, etc.,
may cause pain, too. These conditions can normally be
treated along with cancer pain
three most common types of cancer pain are:
pain. Defined as pain that comes on quickly and may be
severe, but lasts a relatively short period of time.
• Chronic pain. Defined as pain that may range from mild
to severe and persists or progresses over a long period
• Breakthrough pain. Defined as pain that occurs in
patients with chronic pain that is controlled by
treatment is used to reduce neuropathic pain in spinal
nerve roots. Similar to electrothermal treatment, this
radiofrequency treatment does not heat the nerve, and
the energy is delivered in short bursts rather than
continuously. The short bursts simply change the
behavior of the nerve rather than destroy it. In many
patients this change is sufficient to relieve the pain.
Pulsed radiofrequency Radiofrequency Neurotomy
radiofrequency neurotomy (or nerve ablation) is a
treatment option for facet joint pain that uses heat to
interrupt pain signals sent to the brain. It is
administered by placing an electrode under fluoroscopic
guidance adjacent to the medial branch nerves, which
transmit sensation from the facet joints. The heat
creates a lesion that interrupts the signals sent from
these nerves and therefore relieves pain.
The pain relief from this procedure can last 9-12
months, although it can last for up to several years for
some patients. Results are usually felt several weeks
after the neurotomy. This procedure may be repeated if
the pain recurs.
control. Thus, RF is becoming more common as a treatment
modality for pain control for various reasons.
treatment can be effective for 9-18 months.