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      Assessment and management of breakthrough pain in cancer patients: current approaches and emerging research.

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      Current pain and headache reports

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          Abstract

          Cancer pain is highly prevalent and often severe. Fortunately, most cancer pain can be readily managed, with up to 90% of patients responding well to standard interventions. However, breakthrough cancer pain-brief flares of severe pain superimposed on baseline pain-is common, difficult to manage, and often negatively impacts patients' quality of life. Breakthrough cancer pain is traditionally managed with oral, immediate-release opioids. However, because of its sudden onset and severity, oral opioids often fall short of providing adequate control. Research into novel approaches to pain management has identified several innovative strategies for this difficult cancer pain problem. We describe current approaches to assess, define, characterize, and treat breakthrough cancer pain, and summarize recent clinical research on novel agents, novel routes of drug delivery, and other advances in its management.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Curr Pain Headache Rep
          Current pain and headache reports
          1534-3081
          1534-3081
          Aug 2008
          : 12
          : 4
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Alberta Cancer Board; Division of Palliative Medicine, University of Calgary, 1331 29th Street NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N2, Canada. neilha@cancerboard.ab.ca
          Article
          10.1007/s11916-008-0042-1
          18625100
          20afcfa1-439b-4a57-b3cb-bf13e60d19a5
          History

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