Management of Breakthrough Pain in Cancer Patients - Episode 10

Conclusion: Management of Breakthrough Cancer Pain

In the final segment of the series, moderator Jeffrey A. Gudin, MD, asks each panelist to provide their thoughts on the management of breakthrough pain in patients with cancer.

Several approaches are available to treat breakthrough cancer pain, outside of transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl (TIRF) products, notes Charles E. Argoff, MD. A combination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioid analgesics can effectively be used to control pain.

For oncology nurses, a link needs to be created between education and rapport with patients, notes Jeri L. Ashley, RN. Additionally, listening is an important skill for nurses, since they interact frequently with patients.

For patients with cancer, every new onset of pain should be dealt with as a potential recurrence, unless proven otherwise, Vitaly Gordin, MD, believes. To manage the pain, since the majority of patients with cancer have legitimiate and severe pain, opioids should be considered, Gordin adds.

TIRF products have made a substantial difference in the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain, notes Marc Rappaport, DO. In general, these treatments have a direct impact on a patient's quality of life.