Cancer Pain

Facts About Cancer Pain

  1. Pain is most common in advanced cancer. About 60% cancer patients will experience pain. Among it, one third will not have adequate relief even with high dose of opioid treatments. The presence and severity of pain can influence pateint outcomes negatively.  
  2. Pain can come from different directions.  Pain can be caused directly by cancer itself. For example: direct tissue invasion such as bone destruction and spineal cord compression. It can also be caused by side effects from treatments including surgical intervention, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is notoriously detrimental. It continues to carry disability even after the original cancer is in remission or cured. 
  3. Pain can cause depression. The constant suffering adds another layer of stress to patients, who are already burned by the treatments of the original cancer. This explains why underdiagnosed depression is common in cancer patient population. 

Ketamine “Burst Therapy” 

Ketamine IV infusion works primarily on nerve pain, which is highly prevalent in advanced stage cancer.
The burst therapy has been used in most of the published reseach studies for cancer pain management. It is a series of 3~5 days low dose IV ketamine infusions. Each day lasts about 5 hours. Most of the responsive patients get 4~6 weeks of pain relief. You may continue receiving therapy based on need. 

The Day of Your Treatment

  • Do not eat solid food after midnight.
  • Please stop drinking clear liquid** 2 hours prior to arrving to the clinic. This helps prevent nausea and avoid complications.
  • Arrange a driver to pick you up. (we will need the name and phone number upon check-in).
  • Wear comfortable clothes, bring your favorite music on your phone.

Follow a Clear Liquid Diet

  • These clear liquids are allowed until 2 hours prior to your infusion
  • These will offer some energy without side effects of regular food
  • Try to drink 1 cup (8-ounce) of clear liquid after waking up
  • Don’t drink sugar-free liquids unless you have diabetes that are not well controlled. 
Soda & sports drinks
Coffe & tea without milk or creamer
Pulp-free juice
Clear, nonfact broths

After your treatment

  • Your nurse will provide you with detailed post-treatment instructions to follow.
  • Expect to experience drowsiness after the treatment. It’s advisable to dedicate the remainder of your day to resting and recovery.
  • Please do not drive for the rest of the day
  • Please do not operate heavy machine or  do anything require diligence.
  • Regular diet  should be resumed after the treatment.
  • You can return to regular work the next day
  • A follow-up call from a nurse will be conducted after your treatment for continued monitoring. 

Is Ketamine Right for You?