Study Finds Pain Relief Treatment Slightly Improves Over 20 Years
More than one third of patients with invasive cancer are undertreated for their pain, with minorities twice as likely to not receive appropriate medication, according to new MD Anderson-led research.
The study published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, is the largest prospective evaluation of cancer pain and related symptoms ever conducted in an outpatient setting.
Almost 20 years ago, Charles Cleeland, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Symptom Research at MD Anderson, published the first comprehensive study to look at the adequacy of pain management in cancer care.
"We've known for years that the undertreatment of pain is a significant public health problem in the cancer treatment process, and that minorities are at greatest risk for not receiving appropriate pain care," said Cleeland, the JCO's study's senior author. "This new research tells us that our progress has been limited, with only a 10 percent overall reduction in inadequacy of pain management from our findings almost two decades ago."
Read more about the study on chron.com, and watch lead author Michael Fisch, M.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of General Oncology, discuss the significance of the findings with ABC News.