Pain associated with cancer may be acute or chronic. Painresulting from cancer is so ubiquitous that after fear of dying, it isthe second most common fear of newly diagnosed cancer patients(Lema, 1997). More than half of the 1,308 cancer patients includedin a study conducted by Foley (1999) reported being in moderateto severe pain 50% of the time. Pain in the patient suffering fromcancer can be directly associated with the cancer (eg, bonyinfiltration with tumor cells or nerve compression), a result of cancer treatment (eg, surgery or radiation), or not associated withthe cancer (eg, trauma). Most pain associated with cancer,however, is a direct result of tumor involvement.
PAIN CLASSIFIED BY LOCATION
The previous discussion of acute and chronic pain is an example of the categorization of pain according to duration. Pain is sometimescategorized according to location, such as pelvic pain, headache, and chest pain. This type of categorization is helpful in communicating and treating pain. For example, chest pain suggests angina or a myocardial infarction andindicates the need for treatment according to cardiac care standards
PAIN CLASSIFIED BY ETIOLOGY
Categorizing pain according to etiology is another way to think about pain and its management. Burn pain and postherpetic neuralgia are examplesof pain described by their etiology. Clinicians often can predict the course of pain and plan effective treatment using this categorization
PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF PAIN
The sensory experience of pain depends on the interaction betweenthe nervous system and the environment. The processing of noxious stimuliand the resulting perception of pain involve the peripheral and centralnervous systems.
Among the nerve mechanisms and structures involved in thetransmission of pain perceptions to and from the area of the brain thatinterprets pain are nociceptors, or pain receptors, and chemical mediators. Nociceptors
are receptors that are preferentially sensitive to a noxious