Pain is NOT “just a feeling” – it’s our body’s initial indication that something is seriously wrong.
Then, if left untreated too long, ongoing pain itself “sickens” the whole nervous system and leads to central sensitization.
Writing in The Journal of Pain, researchers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center report that pre-treatment pain intensity is an independent survival predictor for patients with head and neck cancer.
Pain is a frequent early sign of head and neck cancer, as a result of destructive lesions and direct tissue and bone involvement.
Among those with oral cancer, overall five-year survival was 31 percent for patients who reported severe pain and 52 percent for those without severe pain.
The survival differentiation was similar in patients with pharyngeal cancer. The authors noted that patients who present with severe pain at diagnosis should be closely monitored and promptly treated for pain symptoms.
Read a news story about the findings here.
Another study found that severe damage to the physical body can result in permanent pain.
Research conducted at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (MRC LEU), University of Southampton concludes that breaking a major bone can result in increased risk of widespread chronic pain later
The authors assert that theirs is the first study to demonstrate an association between chronic pain and prior bone breakage. The researched appears in Archives of Osteoporosis.
The authors add that the findings, if confirmed in additional research, may enable more proactive treatment of chronic pain following incidents of fracture