The response to the opioid epidemic may be limiting the control of pain related to cancer


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that since 1999 the number of deaths from overdoses of prescription opioids has quadrupled and that approximately 91 Americans die each day from an overdose of opioids. 1

In response to what many call a opioid epidemic the CDC issued guidelines to limit opioid prescribing and many state legislatures have approved or are in the process of pbading laws limiting Prescriptions of opioids. Although much of the response to the opioid epidemic exempts the treatment of cancer-related pain, a recent online survey Oncology Nurse Advisor showed that more than 80% of respondents were concerned about how they were established the current restrictions to administer the opioid The crises are affecting the patient's pain management of cancer.

"What we are seeing is more and more difficulties for our patients to get their painkillers," said Ann Brady, MSN, RN-BC, CHPN, symptom control care coordinator at Huntington Cancer Center Hospital in Pasadena, California . "In the past, a doctor could write an order for an opioid and the patient could fill it in. Now there is much more to be done"

Pain related to cancer

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, estimated that in 2012 there were more than 32 million people around the world living with cancer and that number is expected to increase to more than 52 million by 2030. 2

As the number of people with cancer increases, so does the number of people living with pain related to cancer. It is estimated that 4 out of 10 cancer survivors live in some degree of pain and 5% to 10% have severe chronic pain. 3.4

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