Pain Management in Cancer Patients

Moreover, cancer patients treated with Paclitex were documented to experience burning and tingling sensations in both hands and feet, which sometimes become a chronic problem.32 Since as much as 50-90% of cancer patients experience pain during and after the course of cancer treatment, pain management has become an integral component of cancer therapy.1,33 In fact, most hospitals have established pain management protocols that seek to reduce and tolerate, if not to totally eliminate pain, during and after the treatment.45,10Prevailing cancer-related pain management usually involves the administration of drugs that act by blocking inflammatory mediators, pain receptors and secondary messengers. making ion-channels less responsive to a stimulus. or destroy the integrity of the pain-related neurotransmitters.42,29 Morphine, opioids and ibuprofen, for instance, are among the most common bedside anti-pains that have been used to relieve discomfort and distress brought about by cancer treatment.48 Even though, several studies show that these painkillers are not always reliable.46 In fact, patients tend to develop drug dependence and depress immune function.9 A comprehensive review conducted by Telch and Telch (1985) on the various approaches that help cancer patients cope up, revealed that the intensity of pain accompanying cancer therapy is also influenced by emotional distress, anxiety, and other psychological disturbances.42,48 Also, according to Reinville et al (2005), positive emotions like satisfaction and anticipation of relief tend to decrease the perception of pain.35 Studies like these and several others reinforce and recognize the fact that pain also has a cognitive and psychological element, aside from its pharmacological dimension, which can be targeted to create interventions to supplement the current protocols and strategies of achieving pain relief.