The FDA’s 2012 risk evaluation and mitigation strategy is a major step toward systematically reducing the inherent risks of chronic opioid therapy for pain, but does not distinguish between risks related to sources of pain. This article discusses the effect of risk mitigation in the treatment of cancer pain, with a focus on pretreatment screening and ongoing monitoring in this patient population that often requires pain management at some time during cancer treatment. Experience with screening, risk stratification, and interventions at one cancer center is shared, along with some recommendations for practice. A new screening checklist is proposed that summarizes known risk factors. Patients with cancer are not protected from the problems of opioid abuse/misuse, and the multidisciplinary cancer treatment team should coordinate an evaluation of risk and the monitoring of aberrant behaviors as part of the comprehensive care plan.
Doralina L. Anghelescu, Jennifer Harman Ehrentraut and Lane G. Faughnan
Robert A. Swarm, Amy Pickar Abernethy, Doralina L. Anghelescu, Costantino Benedetti, Sorin Buga, Charles Cleeland, Oscar A. deLeon-Casasola, June G. Eilers, Betty Ferrell, Mark Green, Nora A. Janjan, Mihir M. Kamdar, Michael H. Levy, Maureen Lynch, Rachel M. McDowell, Natalie Moryl, Suzanne A. Nesbit, Judith A. Paice, Michael W. Rabow, Karen L. Syrjala, Susan G. Urba, Sharon M. Weinstein, Mary Dwyer and Rashmi Kumar
Pain is a common symptom associated with cancer and its treatment. Pain management is an important aspect of oncologic care, and unrelieved pain significantly comprises overall quality of life. These NCCN Guidelines list the principles of management and acknowledge the range of complex decisions faced in the management oncologic pain. In addition to pain assessment techniques, these guidelines provide principles of use, dosing, management of adverse effects, and safe handling procedures of pharmacologic therapies and discuss a multidisciplinary approach for the management of cancer pain.