Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 127--130

Cancer pain management: Basic information for the young pain physicians


Department of Unit of Anaesthesiology (IRCH), Dr. BRA IRCH, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sushma Bhatnagar
Department of Unit of Anaesthesiology (IRCH), Dr. BRA IRCH, AIIMS, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.84533

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Cancer pain is multifactorial and complex. The impact of cancer pain is devastating, with increased morbidity and poor quality of life, if not treated adequately. Cancer pain management is a challenging task both due to disease process as well as a consequence of treatment-related side-effects. Optimization of analgesia with oral opioids, adjuvant analgesics, and advanced pain management techniques is the key to success for cancer pain. Early access of oral opioid and interventional pain management techniques can overcome the barriers of cancer pain, with improved quality of life. With timely and proper anticancer therapy, opioids, nerve blocks, and other non-invasive techniques like psychosocial care, satisfactory pain relief can be achieved in most of the patients. Although the WHO Analgesic Ladder is effective for more than 80% cancer pain, addition of appropriate adjuvant drugs along with early intervention is needed for improved Quality of Life. Effective cancer pain treatment requires a holistic approach with timely assessment, measurement of pain, pathophysiology involved in causing particular type of pain, and understanding of drugs to relieve pain with timely inclusion of intervention. Careful evaluation of psychosocial and mental components with good communication is necessary. Barriers to cancer pain management should be overcome with an interdisciplinary approach aiming to provide adequate analgesia with minimal side-effects. Management of cancer pain should comprise not only a physical component but also psychosocial and mental components and social need of the patient. With risk-benefit analysis, interventional techniques should be included in an early stage of pain treatment. This article summarizes the need for early and effective pain management strategies, awareness regarding pain control, and barriers of cancer pain.






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