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A review of the literature on post-operative pain in older cancer patients

Published:September 17, 2007DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2007.08.003

      Abstract

      Post-operative pain in older people is a growing problem as the number of those undergoing surgical procedures for cancer continues to increase. Difficulties arise because of the complex nature of the pain itself and the variable manner in which older people can present and respond to treatment. Inadequately treated acute pain can result in significant consequences. Not all healthcare professionals have sufficient knowledge and training in this specific area. Management is also hindered by the limited kinds of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments actually available on a day-to-day basis. Nonetheless, much can still be done. Instead of being protocol driven, post-operative pain management should be tailored to the individual patient’s requirements. This can be achieved through effective communication between healthcare team and patient, careful pre-operative planning and selective use of common analgesics based on knowledge of the different advantages and disadvantages of each.

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