The Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics helps you diagnose and treat hundreds of medical conditions. Consult clinical recommendations from a resource that has been trusted on the wards for 50+ years. Explore these free sample topics:
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- The two main mechanisms for pain are nociceptive (somatic or visceral) and neuropathic.
- Nociceptive pain is caused by stimulation of pain receptors and neuropathic pain by direct injury to the peripheral nervous system or CNS.
- Somatic pain typically occurs with bone metastases, musculoskeletal inflammation, or after surgery and is characterized by a well-localized, dull, or aching pain.
- Visceral pain results from tumor infiltration and compression or distention of viscera and is described as diffuse, deep, squeezing, and pressure-like sensation.
- Neuropathic pain occurs because of tumor infiltration of peripheral nerves, roots, or spinal cord, as well as chemical injury caused by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery. This pain is described as a sharp or burning sensation.
- These three types of pain may occur alone or in combination in the same patient.
- Cancer pain in adults may be classified into three levels on the basis of a 0–10 numerical scale: mild pain (1–3), moderate pain (4–6), and severe pain (7–10).