Oncology (General Cancer)/TENS/EMS for Cancer Pain


My 80 year old mother is suffering from Lung Cancer and is on Gefitinib since last 2 years.She is so far fine with no breathing trouble,wheezing,cough etc.But she has developed Shoulder Pain before Cancer was detected.As the shoulder pain is aggravating NSAID drugs are not working satisfactorily any more,Transdermal Patch (Brupenorphine)was given but it caused severe side effects like vomiting/vertigo.Under this condition to give relief whether TENS/EMS(electrical nerve/muscle stimulation)can be given.There is apprehension that this stimulation may aggregate Cancer cells.Please opine.

You can try TENS; it doesn't do anything to the cancer.  However, I would not expect it to work.  Shoulder pain is sometimes related to tumor growing in the top of the lung, and if that's the case, some radiation may be helpful.  But don't be worried about TENS.  There's no evidence that it aggravates lung cancer cells.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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