Tag Archives: cancer-pain

Pain Takes Significant Toll on Cancer Survival

Pain Takes Significant Toll on Ovarian Cancer Survival, Study Shows – by Alberto Molano, PhD – Sep 2019

This study shows that constant pain is so damaging to health that it can shorten the life span. Any other symptom that led to such dismal outcomes would be treated aggressively and immediately as an emergency.

However, since pain is invisible and can only be determined by the patient themselves, it is doubted and left poorly treated, if at all. When pain medication is withheld from a patient, their constant pain can lead to an early death. This should be clear malpractice, but in today’s opioidphobic society doctors are pressured to do exactly that: leave pain poorly treated even though it’s detrimental to a patient’s health and welfare.

For the first time, scientists have found evidence that pain is an independent marker for overall survival in recurrent ovarian cancer, with women with pain living for significantly less time after their diagnosis than those without pain. Continue reading

Cancer Pain and Non-Cancer Pain are Equivalent

The fabricated distinction between cancer pain and non-cancer pain is often used to argue that opioids are only effective for the first, but not effective for all other chronic pain.

This never made sense to me, so I researched it trying to find the basis for the much-hyped difference between the two and discovered this distinction is a complete myth. 

Below are 4 previous posts covering scientific articles (including NIH/PMC and Cochrane reviews) questioning the legitimacy of regulating and restricting the treatment of non-cancer pain differently than cancer pain.

Cancer vs Noncancer Pain: Shed the Distinction    Continue reading

When Patients Need Opioids to Ease the Pain

When Patients Need Opioids to Ease the Pain – The New York TimesBy Mikkael A. Sekeres, M.D.July 10, 2019

Here’s a doctor making a case for us:

Some patients genuinely need powerful painkillers to make their excruciating existence at least somewhat tolerable.

This statement by a medical doctor should carry some weight, but the rule-makers don’t want to hear anything but the popular story of evil opioids addicting the innocent. This may be quite rational if most of their supporters believe it to be true.  Continue reading

Managing Pain in Cancer Patients and Survivors

Managing Pain in Patients and Survivors: Challenges Within the United States Opioid Crisis in: Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Volume 17 Issue 5.5 (2019) Author: Judith A. Paice – May 2019

“Unrelieved pain is a public health crisis, and opioid misuse and overdose deaths are emergencies.

These 2 crises have converged, and unintended consequences of efforts to squelch the opioid crisis have led to challenges in pain management, including further stigma and unrelieved pain for patients with cancer, especially survivors,” explained Judith A. Paice, PhD, RN, Director of the Cancer Pain Program.   Continue reading

Patients Vulnerable to Limits on Opioid Rx

Limits on Opioid Prescribing Leave Patients With Chronic Pain Vulnerable – from Jama – Rita Rubin, MAApril 29, 2019

Thomas Kline, MD, PhD, refers to 22 of his patients as “pain refugees.”

Stable for years taking opioid therapy for chronic pain, these patients sought out Kline—well-known for his advocacy on their behalf on Twitter and elsewhere—because their physicians had abruptly cut their dose or refused to refill a prescription.

They had appealed to multiple physicians for treatment with no success before contacting him, said Kline. Continue reading

Cancer patients not getting adequate pain relief

Cancer patients not getting adequate pain reliefby University of Leeds – Sept 2016

Many terminal cancer patients are not getting adequate pain relief early enough, according to a University of Leeds study.

The researchers found that, on average, terminal cancer patients were given their first dose of a strong opioid such as morphine just nine weeks before their death. Yet many people with terminal cancer suffer with pain a long time before that, the researchers said.

So, now even cancer isn’t considered to be a serious enough problem to be medicated, even when the patients won’t live long enough to develop addiction problems. Continue reading

Chronic pain in survivors of childhood cancer

Chronic pain in survivors of childhood cancer: a developmental model of pain across the cancer trajectory: PAIN – Oct 2018

When I took notes on it, this article was fully available, but now as I’m blogging it, it’s no longer available. Unfortunately, I’ve lost access to the tables and figures of the full text.

  1. Introduction

Over the past 50 years, advances in treatment have resulted in significant improvements in pediatric cancer survival rates. Such improvements have been due, in part, to more aggressive treatment protocols, which in addition to the disease itself and the psychosocial impact of the disease, place survivors at risk of developing an array of late effects, including   Continue reading

Leg Amputation and No Opioids Afterward

Fox Part 4 | Tough new opioid policies leave some cancer and post-surgery patients without painkillers – By Elizabeth Llorente | Fox News –  December 12, 2018

I’m shocked that some who call themselves a medical professionals can believe that the aftermath of an amputation does not require opioid pain medication, but that’s exactly what happened:

Despite protestations that new federal and state hard lines on painkiller prescriptions do not affect cancer patients or people fresh out of major surgeries, many of those in health care’s trenches feel differently.   Continue reading

Opioid Guidelines are Hurting Cancer Patients

Opioid Prescribing Guidelines are Hurting Patients With Chronic Cancer Pain – June 2018

I wonder how the public will feel when the anti-opioid rules they so enthusiastically support are applied even to cancer patients like their mothers, fathers, kids, or even themselves? Until now, the effective treatment of cancer pain with opioids was always a politically untouchable “sacred cow”… as long as cancer was terminal.

In an article published online last week in JAMA Oncology, writers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the Perelman School of Medicine warn that clinical guidelines developed in the face of the opioid abuse and misuse crisis are likely confounding efforts to treat chronic cancer related pain.

Lead author Salimah H. Meghani, PhD, MBE, RN, FAAN, and coauthor, Neha Vapiwala, MD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, urge that guideline-producing agencies, including the CDC and others work to resolve inconsistencies between their recommendations and those of the National Comprehensive Care Network (NCCN).   Continue reading

Morphine effective for cancer [and other] pain

Oral morphine effective for cancer pain –  April 2016 – Cochrane review

Morphine has been used for many years to relieve pain. Oral morphine in either immediate release or modified release form remains the analgesic of choice for moderate or severe cancer pain.

Morphine taken by mouth produced good pain relief for most people with moderate or severe cancer pain.

The only difference between cancer and non-cancer pain is political and moral, not medical (see no difference between cancer pain and non-cancer pain, so this really means morphine is effective for many kinds of pain. (I’m sure soldiers wounded on the battlefield would agree.) Continue reading