Cancer Pain pp 11-32 | Cite as

Oral and Parenteral Drug Therapy for Cancer Pain

  • Richard Payne
Part of the Current Management of Pain book series (CUMP, volume 3)


Pain in the cancer patient is often a consequence of tumor infiltration or compression of bone, soft tissue, peripheral nerve or spinal cord, or vascular occlusion [4,17]. The most effective management of cancer pain involves treatment of the tumor with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy, if possible. However, it is often necessary to manage pain with analgesic drugs prior to the introduction of specific antitumor therapy. Moreover, a significant percentage of patients will have chronic pain as a sequela of cancer treatment [42] (see table 1–1, Chapter 1, this volume). Finally, although invasive neurosurgical and anesthetic approaches to cancer pain management are indicated in a minority of patients, with a few exceptions (e.g., celiac ganglion blocks for pancreatic pain) they are not first-line treatments [16]. Therefore, the use of analgesic drugs has become the mainstay of acute and chronic cancer pain management, and narcotic analgesics are the drugs of choice for management of severe pain [4,15,55].


Cancer Pain Postherpetic Neuralgia Narcotic Analgesic Cancer Pain Management Chronic Cancer Pain 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston 1989

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  • Richard Payne

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