- Cancer Information
- Managing side effects
- Pain and cancer
- What is cancer pain?
- Who helps manage my pain?
Who helps manage my pain?
Different health professionals help manage pain. They will often discuss ways to manage pain at a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting. If your pain is not well controlled, ask your general practitioner (GP) or palliative care specialist for a referral to a pain medicine specialist who is part of a multidisciplinary pain team.
Health professionals you may see
|general practitioner (GP)||assists with treatment decisions; provides ongoing care in partnership with specialists|
|surgeon*||surgically removes tumours from the body|
|radiation oncologist*||treats cancer by prescribing and overseeing a course of radiation therapy|
|medical oncologist*||treats cancer with drug therapies such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy (systemic treatment)|
|palliative care specialist*||treats pain and other symptoms to maximise wellbeing and improve quality of life|
|pain medicine specialist*||treats all types of pain, particularly ongoing pain or pain that is difficult to control|
|pain management team||includes pain specialist and nurses who work together to treat pain, particularly if it is difficult to control|
|nurse practitioner||works in an advanced nursing role; may prescribe some medicines and tests|
|nurse||administers drugs and provides care, information and support|
|pharmacist||dispenses medicines and gives advice about dosage and side effects|
|anaesthetist*||provides anaesthetic medicines, monitors you during surgery, and provides pain relief during and after surgery|
|physiotherapist||helps with restoring movement and mobility, and preventing further injury|
|exercise physiologist||prescribes exercise to help people with medical conditions improve their overall health, fitness, strength and energy levels|
|occupational therapist||assists in adapting your living and working environment to help you resume usual activities|
|psychologist||helps identify and manage the thoughts, emotions and behaviours that affect your pain|
|counsellor||helps you understand and manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment, usually in the short term|
|social worker||helps with emotional, practical or financial issues|
Podcast: Managing Cancer Pain
Dr Tim Hucker, Pain Medicine Specialist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Keiron Bradley, Palliative Care Consultant, Bethesda Health Care, WA; A/Prof Anne Burke, Co-Director Psychology, Central Adelaide Local Health Network, President, Australian Pain Society, Statewide Chronic Pain Clinical Network, SA, School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide, SA; Tumelo Dube, Accredited Pain Physiotherapist, Michael J Cousins Pain Management and Research Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW; Prof Paul Glare, Chair in Pain Medicine, Palliative Medicine Specialist, Pain Management Research Institute, The University of Sydney, NSW; Andrew Greig, Consumer; Annette Lindley, Consumer; Prof Melanie Lovell, Palliative Care Specialist HammondCare, Sydney Medical School and The University of Technology Sydney, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Melanie Proper, Pain Management Specialist Nurse Practitioner, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Dr Alison White, Palliative Medicine Specialist and Director of Hospice and Palliative Care Services, St John of God Health Care, WA.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
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