A life with cancer is often a life with pain. But it does not have to
be that way.
Physicians and award-winning multimedia designers at Michigan State
University have developed a new CD-ROM that addresses the issue of
pain and cancer. Interactive and visual, Easing Cancer Pain gives
people with cancer the information they need to help overcome their pain.
"Easing Cancer Pain empowers those with cancer who suffer
from pain by providing them with a variety of resources to help them
understand their pain and seek effective treatment," said Karen
Ogle, a physician in MSUs Department of Family Practice and one
of the developers of the CD-ROM.
Several Options Available
The CD-ROM, whose subtitle is Fireside Retreat, literally
"takes the person with cancer to camp," said designer and
associate journalism professor Darcy Drew Greene. After making a stop
at the "lodge," the viewer can choose from several options,
all of which provide information the pain sufferer can put to use.
Among the choices:
Personal Story Campfire," where men and women of many ages and
cultural backgrounds, as well as their family members, tell of their
cancer and pain experiences.
"Treatment Forest," a place in which the viewer can learn
of the various treatments available, including narcotics,
nonnarcotics, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
"Barrier Dunes," a place that discusses the reasons why
some pain sufferers do not seek help. Among those barriers: a fear of
drug addiction, a reluctance to appear as a "complainer,"
and a belief that any suffering one experiences is deserved.
"Assessment Lake," where patients can learn about the
common techniques of pain assessment.
Another part of the CD-ROM is an interview with Cicely Saunders, the
founder of the modern hospice movement. "She was the first
physician to really pay attention to the care of the dying,"
"Unlike brochures or videos that recite the same facts to every
consumer, the interactive qualities of this program allow users to
tailor it to their needs," Ogle said. "They can access any
information contained in the software, in any order, and spend as
much time going into as great a depth as they desire."
"Dr. Ogle has produced an exciting new approach to providing
important information for cancer patients," said G. Marie
Swanson, director of the Cancer Center at MSU. "Her expertise,
combined with the technical skills of her collaborators in the
CommTech lab, will place MSU at the forefront of one of todays
most important issues for cancer patients--treating cancer pain."