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Three-Fourths of Cancer Patients Have Severe Flares of Pain
Date:1/29/2010

li>73 percent said breakthrough pain has increased their daily medical expenses, 67 percent have experienced medical-related financial issues due to breakthrough pain, and 37 percent said breakthrough pain has led to increased medical care-related debt.
  • 52 percent of respondents said their health-care provider has told them breakthrough pain is a normal side effect of cancer or its treatment.
  • "The phenomenon of breakthrough cancer pain presents a challenge for patients and their health-care providers because it occurs even when a patient is taking the right dose of medication on a regular basis," Dr. Russell K. Portenoy, chairman of the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, and a member of the American Pain Foundation board of directors, said in the news release.

    "Providers and patients should not accept breakthrough cancer pain as a normal side effect of cancer. More studies are needed to determine the most effective treatments to alleviate this pain," Portenoy said.

    In an effort to help patients and caregivers, the American Pain Foundation has introduced the following resources:

    • An online toolkit that offers information about breakthrough pain, tips for ensuring that pain management is an integral part of cancer care, treatment options, and answers to frequently asked questions.
    • A dedicated online chat and interactive Web-based seminar called When Cancer Pain Breaks Through.
    • Articles on breakthrough cancer pain and the best ways to cope with cancer pain will be featured in the American Pain Foundation's quarterly newsletter, Pain Community News.
    • A roundtable discussion on breakthrough cancer pain that will feature leading cancer and other medical experts.

    More information

    The American Cancer Society has more about

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