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Authors Garry M Walsh

Published 15 July 2007 Volume 2007:3(3) Pages 361—362

Garry M Walsh

Asthmatic and Allergy Inflammation Group, School of Medicine, University of Aberdeen, UK

Abstract: In addition to two original research articles this issue of TCRM contains some excellent reviews on diverse clinical areas including control of chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease and the use of a novel biologic to treat chronic plaque psoriasis. Nersesyan and Slavin (2007) have provided a comprehensive overview of the problem of providing adequate analgesia for cancer patients. Indeed they point out that in the US alone 70% of people with cancer experience some degree of pain and that this inevitably intensifies as the disease progresses. Regrettably less than half of these patents are given adequate pain relief giving rise to significant suffering; of these around 25% actually die in pain. This is despite of the availability of several practice guidelines for cancer pain management of which the most widely used is the 3-step analgesic ladder developed by the World Health Organization. The authors propose that in a significant number of cancer patients, particularly in those with neuropathic pain or pain associated with bone involvement, a more sophisticated 5-step algorithm might be required. In addition the authors have provided a comprehensive review of cancer pain assessment and its pharmacological or surgery-related management. The authors conclude with the recommendation that the control of cancer-related pain should be individualized for each patient and should include periodical re-evaluation of the medication regimen to ensure adequate analgesia and to minimize exposure to potentially dangerous adverse effects.

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