CANCER PAIN ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT 2
Cancer Pain Assessment and Management
For cancer patients, pain is the most feared symptom. Pain control and relief is the most
important element for cancer patients’ palliative care. Failure to relieve cancer pain is a major
hindrance and threat to quality of life and insufficient classification and pain assessment would
inevitably lead to impractical and inappropriate cancer pain treatment (Stewart, 2014). Since the
45-year old Portuguese woman cannot speak English, assessing the pain level adequately
becomes a challenge due to the language barrier. However, there are other measure that can be
incorporated in the assessment to produce detailed and accurate results.
Clinical, pathological, psychological, cultural, and social factors characterize cancer pain
(Stewart, 2014). Pain due to cancer affects most aspects of the patient’s life including
performance in daily activities, physical functioning, emotional and psychological status, and
social interactions (Stewart, 2014). The intensity and prevalence of cancer pain is 33-50 percent
for populations undergoing treatment and 64-74 percent for patients with an advanced disease.
Cancer causes pain that has effects on both psychosocial and physical wellbeing, and is
influenced by malignancy (International association for the Study of Pain, 2009). Patients with
more malignant cells suffer more pain compared with patients with less number of malignant
cells. In the assessment, the scale of pain intensity is evaluated from 0-10. Since the patients
cannot speak English, monitoring or questioning the children about her social interactions,
psychological status, and activeness may help determine or assess the pain level. It is appropriate
to use tools of assessment that are valid for the patient’s cognitive abilities, age, and language
needs (International association for the Study of Pain, 2009).
While conducting the physical and history examination, the healthcare practitioner should
consider looking into common cancer pain syndromes. Recording current and past medications