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80% of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy are pain-medication free

The results of a recent research indicate that around eighty percent of cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy may not be using any kind of medications to combat pain.

According to the report published in the “International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics” for the September issue reports that many patients do not undergo any medications to combat pain mainly due to fears of addiction and the cost of medication. Although, the most common reason for not using analgesics was that their healthcare provider never recommended them any medication.

Dr. Charles Simone lead author of the report, from the National Cancer Institute's Radiation Oncology Branch in Bethesda, said in a statement to Reuters health that healthcare providers have the responsibility of talking with their patients about the various pain symptoms and medications available for pain. This is very important to eliminate all the barriers in optimal pain management.

Till date very few attempts have been made in trying to quantify the analgesic use of medications in oncology patients who are treated with radiotherapy. The current findings is based on a questionnaire posted on a particular website. The questionnaire had questions to examine analgesic use.

By Jennifer Larson
radRounds.com, Writer
October 14, 2008

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