GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF TREATMENT: ACUTE PAIN AND INCIDENT PAIN
The management of acute pain in patients with cancer following surgery, fractures or painful procedures, is the same as for patients without cancer. Patients with cancer may recover more slowly and require analgesia for longer periods if their general condition is poor; psychological factors will further complicate the situation if the acute episode is a manifestation of progressive disease.
Incident pain-Incident pain occurs only in certain circumstances, such as pain which occurs after a particular movement or on standing. Where possible, incident pain should be treated with local measures including treatment of the cancer (radiotherapy) and physical therapy (surgery, supports). Analgesics may be used if the pain is mild and the side effects of constant administration are tolerable. If the pain is severe, modification of the patient's activity may be preferable to taking strong opioid analgesics on a regular basis for pain which occurs infrequently.
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