Role for palliative care in cancer pain

What is the role for palliative care in management of patients with cancer pain?

Recognizing that approximately 70% of patients will experience severe pain some time during their illness, as well as the unfortunate fact that up to a quarter of cancer patients continue to die in severe pain, it is imperative that care embracing a “mind-body-spirit” approach be initiated early in the course of disease. While many patients with cancer are not ready to elect the hospice Medicare benefit, most—if not all—will benefit from an interdisciplinary approach (e.g., pain specialists, radiation oncologists, mental health professionals, neurosurgeons) to multiple symptom management, psychosocial/spiritual support, and pain management.

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