Cancer pain is a multi-dimensional experience, varies from person to person both physically and psycho-socially, and impacts all aspects of the patients’ quality of life. Majority of patients with an advanced or metastatic cancer will experience pain. It is estimated that as many as half of cancer patients are under-treated and as many as 20% experience pain refractory to the conventional WHO ladder of pain management. The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Cancer Pain Clinic (CPC) was created to meet the needs of those patients with a diagnosis of cancer whose pain had become a main symptom and those who failed to respond to conventional treatment. The clinic offers a unique interdisciplinary approach with a core team that includes an anesthesiologist, a palliative care physician, a radiation oncologist, a nurse clinician specialist in oncology and palliative care, and, recently, also an interventional radiologist. A cancer pain clinical fellowship was offered for the first time in July 2016. It provides intense training in the classification, epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of cancer pain. Through our education program, the fellow learns to appreciate, weigh, and respond to the full spectrum of factors influencing a specific patient’s condition and to develop a tailor-made care plan. To our knowledge, it is the only fellowship program in existence that focuses exclusively on cancer pain. We see it as a beacon and hope that our graduate fellows become professional leaders with a quest not only to provide the best possible care but also to raise awareness of the humanitarian need to control cancer pain.
Supportive Care in Cancer – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 10, 2018
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