Pamela Gamier, RN | Authors

The Challenge of Palliating Pancreatic Cancer

March 15, 2013

FDA approval of palliative chemotherapy is largely based on disease-free and overall survival, quality of life, and symptom reduction; the latter should be routinely measured by the treating oncologist. Physician assessments of symptoms underreport symptom severity compared to patient-reported symptom assessments.

Practical Guide to Opioids and Their Complications in Managing Cancer Pain

September 01, 2007

Approximately 60% of cancer patients experience pain, and 25% to 30% have severe pain. With some cancers, opioids will be needed before chemotherapy begins and may be more frequently prescribed than chemotherapy. Given the frequency with which pain management is necessary in cancer patients, all oncologists should be familiar with opioid prescribing principles. This article reviews the World Health Organization recommendations for analgesic therapy in this setting, as well as guidelines for opioid therapy in patients with renal failure or hepatic failure, assessment of pain, dosing strategies in both acute and chronic pain, management of opioid overdose, pain associated with dose-limiting side effects, and pain in the actively dying.