Cancer Pain

Pain is often a part of cancer, and a new government study says it's usually under-treated. Experts who did the analysis for the National Insititutes of Health say cancer patients often suffer needlessly from pain, depression and fatigue. The experts call that "simply" unacceptable. A radiation oncologist notes that some patients "are more fearful of pain than they are of death itself." The study found a number of reasons cancer patients get poor pain treatment. One is that doctors frequently don't get enough training in pain management in medical school. Another reason is paperwork. Some government regulations require a thre-copy report each time a doctor prescribes some opiates. The study says inadequately treated pain "can be considered one indicator of poor quality of care."