Local conference to focus on treating cancer pain

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Top neurosurgeons and oncologists from across the country will be in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday to discuss new ways to treat cancer pain.

The panel is led by Kansas City neurosurgeon Dr. William Rosenberg of the Center for Relief of Pain at Research Medical Center.

The Cancer Pain Clinical Consortium will explore ideas to treat pain many cancer patients experience that is caused by their treatments or the cancer itself.

Karen Kopp was diagnosed four years ago with pancreatic cancer.  After two years of suffering extreme pain, Kopp admits, she wanted to give up.

"I wanted to die the pain was so severe and i couldn't do anything," Kopp said.

Her doctor recommended that Kopp make an appointment to see Rosenberg. 

"He implanted a pain pump, and my pain was gone," Kopp said.

Now she's able to function because she's not in pain.

Rosenberg said there are several ways to treat cancer pain. 

"The pain pump is one of them. We can also insert a needle into the spine and disconnect the nerves that send pain signals to the brain," he explained.

Rosenberg hopes the panel of 30 doctors from across the country meeting in Kansas City will begin creating a database of evidence regarding the effective treatment of cancer pain.

He believes the conference will also raise awareness among cancer physicians and patients that there are options to treat pain that are extremely helpful to patients.

Kopp said she is living proof that cancer pain can be eliminated and living pain-free with cancer is possible.

She takes every opportunity to promote the Purple Stride, the walk to end pancreatic cancer. This year, the walk is on April 20 at 7:30 a.m. at Southcreek Office Park in Overland Park, Kan.

For more information on the walk and pancreatic cancer, visit the Pancreatic Cancer Network of Kansas City at http://bit.ly/12ipUiv.

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