Cancer Pain Care 2012: When to Consult a Pain Specialist

By | September 28, 2012

Sometimes the most important therapeutic tool in treating cancer pain is the knowledge that there is someone who is ready to help.

As I said in one of the High Holiday blogs a major focus at Schlesinger Pain Centers in the coming year will be the improvement in the local delivery of pain care for cancer patients. The most common problem that I see is the delay in referring cancer patients to pain specialists. Very often this referral is seen as an admission of defeat by both the patient and the oncologist. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is well known that patients who see pain specialists live longer than those who don’t because they have better pain control and fewer side effects. I would like to see the day when all patients with the diagnosis of cancer and pain requiring narcotic medication are given a referral, even if only to talk about options. For many patients that is all that will be necessary, but for others it will give them knowledge and confidence that if the pain should get worse there is someone that they can trust to help them.


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