Doctor and Patient discussing cancer pain treatment options

What is Cancer Pain?

Cancer pain is a complex and often debilitating symptom that can result from the disease itself or its treatments. Pain management is an essential component of cancer care, and there are several treatment options available to help manage cancer pain.

Cancer pain is a complex and often debilitating symptom that can result from the disease itself or its treatments. Pain management is an essential component of cancer care, and there are several treatment options available to help manage cancer pain.

One of the most common treatments for cancer pain is medication. Analgesics, or painkillers, can be effective in managing mild to severe cancer pain. These medications can be given orally, intravenously, or through skin patches. Opioids, such as morphine and fentanyl, are commonly used for moderate to severe cancer pain.

Woman placing Skin patch onto back to help with Cancer Pain
Skin patches can be one way to help relieve symptoms of Cancer Pain.


Another option for managing cancer pain is interventional pain management techniques. These procedures target specific nerves or areas of the body to provide pain relief. Examples include nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, and radiofrequency ablation. These procedures are usually performed by a pain management specialist and can provide significant relief for those with cancer pain.

Additionally, non-pharmacological treatments can also be effective in managing cancer pain. These include physical therapy, acupuncture, and relaxation techniques. Physical therapy can help improve mobility and reduce pain, while acupuncture has been found to be effective in managing cancer-related pain and other symptoms.

Acupuncture treatment to help with symptoms of Cancer Pain
Acupuncture is one of many ways patients can seek relief from Cancer Pain.

In conclusion, cancer pain can be a challenging symptom to manage, but there are several effective treatments available. Medication, interventional pain management techniques, and non-pharmacological treatments can all be used to manage cancer pain. It is important for individuals with cancer pain to work closely with their healthcare team to develop a personalized pain management plan that takes into account their unique needs and preferences. With the right treatment, it is possible to manage cancer pain and improve quality of life.


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Dr. Johansson comes to us as a fellowship-trained and board-certified pain management specialist with nearly a decade of experience. She completed her fellowship training at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD where she then became the associate program director of the pain medicine fellowship and an assistant professor of military and emergency medicine. She graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia, was Pre-medicine at San Diego State University, and received her BSN from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Her breadth of experience comes from a full career of serving in the United States Navy where she was the recipient of multiple academic and military service awards including a Meritorious Service Medal, three Navy Commendation Medals, and numerous other individual, unit, and campaign awards. She has multiple published works and is the founding member of a military Pain Medicine Special Interest Group with the American Society of Regional Anesthesia.

In her free time, Dr. Johansson enjoys traveling, is newly married, loves dogs, and enjoys cooking and baking, as well as other creative pursuits. She has a particular interest in advanced procedural techniques for chronic pain relief and the effects of lifestyle on pain and healing. She looks forward to continuing our mission of providing our patients with the best care, every day.

Eric Grigsby, MD, MBA

CEO & Founder of Neurovations

Dr. Eric Grigsby enjoys a national reputation for excellence in the field of Pain Management. He has a background as a researcher, teacher and clinician and brings over 30 years of clinical experience to the Napa Pain Institute. Dr. Grigsby attended elementary and secondary school in his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Economics from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He formed an interest in Pain Management as a career while working at Boston Children’s Hospital in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

After graduating from Boston University Medical School in 1984, Dr. Grigsby trained in General Surgery, Anesthesiology, and Pain Management at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was invited to join the Medical Staff and teach at the Mayo Medical School until moving to California in 1989. The Dean of the University of California at Davis Medical Center then invited Dr. Grigsby to establish their first Pain Management Center, where he served as Medical Director until 1992. Following his post at UC Davis, Dr. Grigsby established his private Pain Management practice in Napa, California.

Today, he and his staff of over 50 professionals consult with patients throughout Northern California and the western United States.  More recently, Dr Grigsby completed his Masters in Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He speaks nationally on topics such as non-operative treatment of spinal disorders, the safe use of medications for the treatment of pain, and the legal and regulatory issues relating to the proper treatment of patients with chronic illness.