As a result of remarkable advances in cancer therapies, there are increasing numbers of individuals living with a history of cancer. Unfortunately, persistent pain can be a consequence of many of these highly effective treatments. The ASCO clinical practice guideline provides evidence-based guidance on safe and effective treatment of chronic pain in adult cancer survivors. The guideline relays the importance of comprehensive pain care for cancer survivors using a wide range of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies, including physical medicine and rehabilitation, integrative therapies, interventional procedures, and psychological approaches. Of great importance is the attention to appropriate assessment, not only of the individual’s pain, but also of their potential risk for opioid misuse. Included are strategies to minimize risk and monitor adherence. This supports safe and appropriate use of opioids for the cancer survivor with pain while limiting access to those in the community who have the disease of addiction.
Director, Cancer Pain Program,
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