This is an interesting piece of news. According to a latest research, giving cancer patients information on how to deal with their pain and manage their medicine may possibly lead to a 20 percent progress in pain control.
Approximately 40 percent of people with cancer seem to experience pain by the time they are diagnosed. Supposedly, this rises to about 70 percent for people with more advanced disease.
For the purpose of better understanding this criterion, researchers were believed to have provided all patients who were suffering from cancer with strong pain-killers. However, those who were given additional information seemed to have experienced considerably better pain control.
Lead researcher Professor Michael Bennett, based at Lancaster University said that, “This is good news for cancer patients. Helping people manage pain is a major challenge for doctors and our research shows for the first time that education is an effective, easy and cheap way to do this.”
“It’s astonishing that simply taking the time to explain to people about their pain and medicines can result in better pain control than just relying on strong pain-killers alone. It shows just how complex an issue pain is and that sometimes it really pays to address patients’ concerns to improve their quality of life,” continues Bennett.
Bennett further stated that, “Some of our related research also suggests that this type of approach is especially relevant for older patients. We think this type of intervention should be used by doctors and other health professionals on a regular basis – it’s an effective method that’s sadly underused in the clinic.”
The researchers were noted to have examined at the level of pain felt by someone from having cancer reported on a scale from one to ten. They evaluated nearly 21 studies on the topic and for the foremost time were able to elucidate a clear benefit on pain control for this type of approach.
Professor Mike Richards, national cancer director and professor of palliative medicine, stated that, “Even with strong pain killers, some cancer patients continue to experience pain. This study is very important as it highlights the added benefits of providing good information and communicating effectively with patients.”
The information provided to patients appears to have included encouraging patients to tell doctors and nurses about their pain, reducing misconceptions about risk of addiction and side-effects, and advice on how and when to consume pain-killers.
The research findings revealed that explaining how pain-killers worked and solving any fears which cancer patients had about the drugs seemed to have reduced their pain by an additional one point on a scale of one to ten. It was estimated that an average pain scores are approximately five out of ten.
The researchers claim that educational programmes which manage cancer pain and strong pain-killers should be given regularly along with treatment drugs for cancer.
The findings of the research have been presented at the NCRI Cancer Conference in Birmingham.