Pain Management Within a Metastatic Cancer Diagnosis

By Jared Scott, MD

Illustration of human spine to illustrate back pain.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my work – and also one of the most difficult – is the pain management we provide to patients with a serious diagnosis such as cancer. To help control pain for a patient during such a trying time – when life is most precious – is a labor of compassion.

It’s estimated that 60%-80% of cancer patients experience metastatic bone disease, or cancer that has spread to bone, sometimes to the spine. Although the Pain Center at Kansas Spine is not a cancer treatment facility, our specialty in spinal disorders compels us to seek treatment regimens for as many patients as possible. This includes critical and late-stage diagnoses in patients whose days are overshadowed by chronic, debilitating pain.

Among the palliative treatments we offer is an innovative new technology called OsteoCool™ RF Ablation System, using cooled radiofrequency (RF) to destroy cancer cells. While we cannot affect the cancer at the primary site, we can reduce and sometimes eliminate the metastatic lesions on the spine that cause intense pain. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for the patient and their loved ones, for whatever time they have.

If you are coping with metastatic bone disease of the spine, I encourage you to consider this innovative new technology to help control your pain. It is not a cure, and it will not extend life expectancy. What it will do is improve the quality of your life during a difficult time.