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An ovarian cancer patient in England describes her difficult struggles with chronic pain due to her advancing disease and the side effects of her chemotherapy. In the video, Dr Beverly Collett, Immediate Past President of the British Pain Society describes a survey in Great Britain of advanced cancer patients who responded that about one-third had “intractable pain.” In other words, pain that just would not go away.
No one with cancer should be denied appropriate amounts of pain medicines, including narcotics if necessary (we are not worried about addiction here). Most major cancer centers have pain specialists who can be helpful consultants in this vital subject.
The National Cancer Institute has an informative web section on cancer pain control. Go to http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/paincontrol.
Also, a new website was recently launched to help cancer patients find pain relief: Cancer-pain.org. Some of their website is still “under construction.” It has a very distinguished Advisory Board, including Diane Blum who is on our Patient Resource Cancer Guide Patient Advisory Board. Their news announcement is pasted below:
The Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR), the largest online community of cancer patients, announces the launch of a new website, Cancer-pain.org, to provide cancer patients with the education and support they need to obtain effective relief from pain.
“There is always a way to alleviate pain; however, effective treatment of cancer pain has been a problem long acknowledged by the cancer community,” said Gilles Frydman, President of ACOR. “A significant majority of cancer patients suffer pain as their disease progresses, but almost half do not get adequate pain relief. Cancer-pain.org is our commitment to help cancer patients better understand their pain and obtain more effective pain control.” Cancer-pain.org features sections on the causes of pain, breakthrough cancer pain, pain treatment options, and tools to help cancer patients communicate effectively with physicians about their pain. The Web site also has a complete list of medications available to treat pain, information about complementary and alternative methods of pain control, and a section devoted to the special needs and issues of caregivers. In addition, Cancer-pain.org has an interactive section where patients and caregivers can exchange information.
The Web site’s news section provides patients with updates on developments in cancer pain treatments as well as links to other cancer sites, such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which enable patients to stay abreast of legislative issues affecting cancer research and treatment. ACOR also has plans to add a “Healthcare Professionals Corner” where professionals can exchange information on effective pain therapies, post relevant journal articles and new clinical research and recruit patients for clinical trials, as well as take accredited CME courses on cancer pain treatment.
“We hope this site helps educate patients about new advances in the understanding and treatment of pain, including breakthrough cancer pain, which can seriously diminish quality of life for cancer patients,” says Mr. Frydman. “Encouraging patients to exchange information about what works and what doesn’t, as well as dispelling the myth of addiction, are two of the reasons we have developed this site to be a resource for patients and caregivers.” Cancer-pain.org is supported through an educational grant from Cephalon, Inc.