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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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