Current Oncology Reports

, 21:100 | Cite as

Managing Pain in the Older Cancer Patient

  • Dylan FinnertyEmail author
  • Áine O’Gara
  • Donal J. Buggy
Palliative Medicine (A Jatoi, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Palliative Medicine


Purpose of Review

This paper aims to give the specialist and non-specialist alike an overview of the considerations involved in the management of cancer-related pain in the older population.

Recent Findings

Comprehensive guidelines on cancer pain management have been published recently by expert bodies. Cancer pain differs in many respects to other pain conditions and we are likely to encounter it more frequently in older patients in the future. The elderly are more sensitive to the effects of many analgesic medications.


The elderly patient with cancer pain presents a unique challenge to the treating physician. The biological effects of ageing impact on the efficacy of many pain management strategies as well as its diagnosis and assessment. Treatment options can be broadly divided into pharmacological, non-pharmacological and interventional. A multidisciplinary approach and frequent re-assessment are essential in achieving favourable outcomes in this patient group.


Cancer pain Analgesia Older patient Elderly Geriatric Oncology Pain management Gerontology Bone pain 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dylan Finnerty
    • 1
    Email author
  • Áine O’Gara
    • 1
  • Donal J. Buggy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnaesthesiaMater Misericordiae University HospitalDublinIreland

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