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Airing Pain 84: Cancer pain

How cancer survivors can manage long term pain and creating a home from home at the hospital

This edition is funded by the Agnes Hunter Trust.

More people than ever before survive cancer, but the disease and treatment can have long-lasting effects on health, including chronic pain. In this edition of Airing Pain we visit Maggie’s Centre, Edinburgh, which pioneers a compassionate, personalised approach to supporting those with cancer and survivors of the disease.

Cancer Nurse Andy Anderson explains how the tranquil, homely environment at Maggie’s gives service users a chance to regain control. Claire Tatterstall speaks about her long struggle with bone cancer, the stigma surrounding the ‘C word’ and the pain resulting from her life-saving treatment.

While Claire takes her pain as a reminder that she’s ‘still here’, the immense gratitude many survivors feel can lead to their pain going unreported, says cancer pain specialist Dr Lesley Colvin. She explains why cancer and its treatment can lead to chronic pain and how we can improve pain management in palliative care and for survivors.

Issues covered in this programme include: Cancer, chemotherapy, palliative care, neuropathic pain, family and relationships, hospital environment, communicating pain, post-surgical pain, CBT: cognitive behavioural therapy, mental health, breathing exercises and primary care.


  • Andy Anderson, Cancer Nurse, Maggie’s Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
  • Claire Tattersall, patient
  • Dr Lesley Colvin, Consultant/Reader in Pain Medicine in the University department of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.

Further information:

Find out more about the organisations featured in this programme:


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