Natalie Moryl, MD | Authors

Opioid Analgesia in Aged Cancer Patients

February 01, 2008

Pain in older cancer patients is a common event, and many times it is undertreated. Barriers to cancer pain management in the elderly include concerns about the use of medications, the atypical manifestations of pain in the elderly, and side effects related to opioid and other analgesic drugs. The care of older cancer patients experiencing pain involves a comprehensive assessment, which includes evaluation for conditions that may exacerbate or be exacerbated by pain, affecting its expression, such as emotional and spiritual distress, disability, and comorbid conditions. It is important to use appropriate tools to evaluate pain and other symptoms that can be related to it. Pain in older cancer patients should be managed in an interdisciplinary environment using pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions whose main goals are decreasing suffering and improving quality of life. In this two-part article, the authors present a review of the management of pain in older cancer patients, emphasizing the roles of adequate assessment and a multidisciplinary team approach.

Commentary (Moryl/Foley)-Opioid Rotation in Cancer Patients: Pros and Cons

April 01, 2005

The use of sequential therapeutictrials to determine the optimaldrug for a given patienthas become a standard strategy in painmanagement. We appreciate Estfanand colleagues’ thoughtful and practicalreview of the advantages and disadvantagesof opioid rotation in cancerpain management.[1] Their commentson the need for individualization ofopioid dose and ongoing monitoring,opioid choice in renal and liver insufficiency,compliance, and cost reductionare particularly important.