The importance of pain control for improving patient compliance with oncological treatment

Niţipir Cornelia (a,b), Popescu Bogdan (b), Radu Irina (b), Barbu Maria Alexandra (b)

(a): MD, PhD, senior oncologist, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila, Bucharest, Romania
(b): MD, oncologist, Elias Emergency University Hospital, Department of Oncology, Bucharest, Romania

Corresponding author:
Niţipir Cornelia: e-mail: nitipir2003@yahoo.com

ORIGINAL PAPERS

Abstract

Objective:
This paper highlights the importance of pain control for improving cancer patients’ adherence to treatment. Pain can cause feelings of discouragement, hopelessness and despair. If not treated promptly and effectively, cancer pain may affect patient compliance with treatment and his quality of life.

Methods:
We report the case of a 64 year old patient, diagnosed with lung cancer of the right upper lobe and multiple metastases (bone, liver, adrenal), hospitalized for severe pain (upper thoracic T3-T5 and thoracolumbar T12 rachialgia).

On examination the patient assesses the intensity of his pain at a level of 7-8 on the visual-analogue scale (VAS), with exacerbations up to level 10.

The therapeutic attitude focused both on controlling the chronic disease and the relief of debilitating symptoms (pain).

Conclusion:
Early initiated palliative care can increase therapeutic compliance in oncology patients. Pain is not an accidental symptom in cancer disease. It is part of cancer disease thus pain management should be an integrating part of antineoplastic therapy.

Key words: pain, compliance, lung cancer, pain control

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