Many years later, cancer pain still going untreated

A study of over 3,000 cancer patients has revealed that cancer pain continues to go under-treated or untreated altogether in about one-third of patients.

This despite a major study published in 1994 that drew attention to the undertreatment of cancer pain and was so influential that it changed the published guidelines for cancer pain management by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The 1994 study had determined that as many as 42 percent of cancer patients were not receiving pain management, for various reasons, and that it was an aspect of cancer care that required immediate attention from clinicians.

Almost two decades later, the improvement appears to have been modest at best. The latest study, by researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, also revealed a racial angle, namely that blacks and Hispanics were twice as likely as Caucasians not to be prescribed pain medication.

Source: Houston Chronicle

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