Navigation Links
Cancer Patients Hold Fast to Belief That Opioids Mean Death

Docs need to educate that drugs such as morphine are more than just a last resort

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many cancer patients endure unnecessary suffering when they resist treatment with morphine and other opioid painkillers because they believe the use of these drugs signifies imminent death, a new British study suggests.

"If we are to employ the range of available opioids in order to successfully manage pain caused by cancer, we must ensure that morphine does not remain inextricably linked with death. If this connection stays in place, then morphine will continue to be viewed as a comfort measure for the dying rather than a means of pain control for the living," study author Dr. Colette Reid, a consultant in palliative medicine at the Gloucester Royal Hospital, said in a prepared statement.

Publishing online Dec. 11 in the Annals of Oncology, Reid and her team interviewed 18 people, aged 55 to 82, with metastatic cancer who took part in a cancer pain management trial. A central theme of morphine as a last resort for dying patients emerged from the interviews.

"We found that patients with cancer who were offered morphine for pain relief interpreted this as a signal that their health professional thought they were dying, because opioids were interventions used only as a 'last resort.' Because participants themselves were not ready to die, they rejected morphine and other opioids as analgesics, despite the pain experienced as a consequence," the study authors wrote.

"Participants' descriptions of the role of professionals indicated that patients value professionals' confidence in opioids. Some patients may therefore become more frightened when offered a choice, since this indicates a lack of confidence in the opioid as an analgesic."

Reid noted that World Health Organization guidelines for the management of cancer pain state that severity of pain, not patient prognosis, should be the basis for making painkiller treatment decisions.

"So patients at all stages of cancer could have morphine if their pain is sufficient. In reality, the patients most likely to experience pain, and likely also to have the most severe pain, are those with metastatic disease, i.e., their cancer cannot be cured. These patients may yet have many months to live, but their quality of life is adversely affected by pain, since unrelieved pain leads to social isolation, loss of role and depressed mood," Reid said.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about cancer pain control.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: European Society for Medical Oncology, news release, Dec. 11, 2007

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Conventional prognostic factors fail to explain better prostate cancer survival in most Asian men
2. Survival differences by race most apparent in advanced stages of breast cancer
3. MRI finds breast cancer before it becomes dangerous
4. Investigators uncover intriguing clues to why persistent acid reflux sometimes turns into cancer
5. Pathway links inflammation, angiogenesis and breast cancer
6. Radiologists encouraged to look beyond cancer for clinically unseen diseases
7. Diet high in meat, fat and refined grains linked to risk for colon cancer recurrence, death
8. Immune deficiency linked to a type of eye cancer
9. Drop in breast cancer incidence linked to hormone use, not mammograms
10. Breast cancer prevention practices vary across Canada
11. First biomarker discovered that predicts prostate cancer outcome
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun ... NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is ... is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, ... ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest ... to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, ... next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... AccentCare, a leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health ... Home Health. , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for Disease ... end of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... Westchester, NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the end ... mandated by certain health insurance regulations. ... The best time to get a flu shot is by the end ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017 Halo Labs announces the European launch of their ... HORIZON at MIBio 2017 in Cambridge, U.K ... matter in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented speed and sensitivity while using ... Backgrounded Membrane Imaging. ... subvisible particle analysis system ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... NEW YORK , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), ... solutions, today announced that its MyDario product is expected to appear on ... for when The Dr. Oz Show airs in your area: ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: