July 1st 1998
It is striking how often medical advances occur as a result of the recognition of something that, in retrospect, is obvious. Pain has always been a feared consequence of disease, particularly cancer. Only in the past decade, however, has the widespread undertreatment of pain and its impact on the quality of life of patient and family gained the attention of mainstream medical research. Rapid, simultaneous advances in basic neurobiology and clinical investigation have dramatically improved the clinician’s ability to diagnose and treat pain.