Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 373--377

Cancer pain management in developing countries


1 Department of Anesthesiology, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Oncoanaesthesia and Palliative Medicine, BRAIRCH, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sushma Bhatnagar
Department of Oncoanaesthesia and Palliative Medicine, BRAIRCH, AIIMS, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.191742

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The World Health Organization estimated that more than 60% of the 14 million new cancer cases worldwide in 2012 were reported in the developing part of the world, including Asia, Africa, Central and South America. Cancer survival rate is poorer in developing countries due to diagnosis at late stage and limited access to timely treatment. Since the disease per se cannot be treated even with the best available treatment modalities, what remains important is symptom management and providing comfort care to these patients. The incidence of pain in advanced stages of cancer approaches 70-80%. Lack of preventive strategies, poverty, illiteracy, and social stigma are the biggest cause of pain suffering and patient presenting in advance stage of their disease. The need for palliative care is expanding due to aging of world's population and increase in the rate of cancer in developed and developing countries. A huge gap remains between demand and current palliative care services. Overcoming barriers to palliative care is a major global health agenda that need immediate attention. Main causes of inadequate pain relief remain lack of knowledge among physician and patients, lack of adequate supply of opioids and other drugs for pain relief, strong bureaucracy involved in terms of procurement, and dispensing of opioids. Beside this, poverty and illiteracy remain the most important factors of increased suffering.






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