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Cancer pain may be caused by the cancer or by the treatments and tests used. The kind of pain may vary depending on the cause. The first step in managing cancer pain is understanding the cause.
Pain from the cancer itself can happen when:
A tumor presses on bones, nerves, or organs.
A tumor presses on the spinal cord, causing pain in the back, legs, or neck.
A tumor causes organs to swell or be blocked. For example, a tumor can cause a bowel obstruction.
Cancer cells spread to the bone and destroy it.
Treatments such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy may also cause pain. Cancer treatments have to be strong. As a result, they often cause pain and other side effects. Some medical tests, such as bone marrow aspiration, may cause pain too.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.