It has been estimated that one out of every three patients receiving treatment for metastatic cancer has significant disease-related pain, with this number increasing to 60-90 percent in patients with advanced disease. In fact, experts estimate that 25 percent of all cancer patients who die, do so without adequate pain relief, despite the fact that the tools for adequate pain control are available. According to the World Health Organization, 90 percent of patients with cancer will require strong opiates (narcotics) to control their pain. However, many physicians remain concerned about inadvertently making a patient an addict if they prescribe narcotics to treat pain. Cultural and attitudinal barriers, knowledge deficits among health care professionals, and the influence of state and federal drug regulatory agencies also contribute to the fact that the pain experienced by cancer patients, all too often, is under-treated.
The following information is provided to assist physicians in the management of pain in their patients and to ease the burden of cancer on both patients and their caregivers.
Physician Education and Services
Policies and Reports