Pain Management

Patients with pancreatic cancer can develop pain. This is most often due infiltration of the nerves surrounding the pancreas by the cancer cells. The pain is typically high in the back, but may also be abdominal. There are multiple options for relief of pain. Effective chemotherapy will often make the pain resolve after just a few doses. Prior to this patients can be helped with oral pain mediations and pain patches on the skin. In patients whose pain is refractory to these options, a celiac axis block can be performed. In this procedure, alcohol is injected directly into the nerves around the pancreas to ablate them. This requires image guidance and can be done in the CT scanner by a radiologist or in the endoscopy suite by a gastroenterologist under endoscopic ultrasound guidance.