Every day a tragedy is played out in hospitals and homes around the world - the tragedy of needless cancer pain. And, while modern medical techniques can bring relief from pain to an extraordinary 90 to 99 per cent of cancer patients, pain continues to be undertreated. Cancer patients are too often caught in the middle of society's strong anti-drug message and fears about the use of opioid drugs. But, cancer pain experts assert that relief is not only possible for most patients, it actually aids in recovery. Yet, millions still endure unnecessary, and sometimes agonizing, pain. In "The Complete Guide to Relieving Cancer Pain and Suffering", Dr Richard Patt, one of the USA's leading cancer pain experts, has teamed up with science writer Susan Lang to produce a much-needed, sensible handbook for patients and caregivers on all aspects of cancer pain.
Thoroughly revising and updating their widely-praised 1994 book, "You Don't Have to Suffer", the authors illuminate the reasons why patients are so often undermedicated, including unfounded fears of addiction, patients thinking they need to tough it out, time-consuming paperwork for doctors who prescribe narcotics, and laws that fail to distinguish between drug abuse and the legitimate employment of narcotics. Lang and Patt demonstrate that properly medicated patients are better able to resume active lives and marshal strength to fight their disease - while those in chronic pain not only suffer, but also may jeopardize their potential for recovery. The "Complete Guide to Relieving Cancer Pain and Suffering" helps patients and families cope with the practical problems of dealing with cancer pain, from mild to severe. It discusses the medications and techniques that can be used to fight cancer pain or relieve the undesirable side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and other cancer treatments.
It describes all of the pain-relieving options available in the modern medical arsenal - from drugs and high-tech medical procedures to psychological and cognitive techniques and home nursing tips to make a patient more comfortable. The book compiles in detail all of the pain medications on the market - over-the-counter medications and prescriptions - along with their generic and brand names, side effects, dose ranges, and precautions. It also provides extensive information on anaesthetic and neurosurgical options for pain that has not responded well to simpler techniques, and directly addresses ways to prevent or relieve constipation, nausea, drowsiness, and other complaints of cancer patients. The authors also discuss depression and other psychological components that contribute to suffering in detail, and explain how psychological, cognitive, and mind/body approaches and techniques can help relieve pain and suffering associated with cancer.
The book concludes with detailed information on how to cope with the myriad of problems that may occur with the advanced stages of cancer, the ever-changing and sometimes difficult process of dying, grief, and helping a patient die with grace and peace. The book's detailed appendix charts all of the medications and lists resources such as pain specialists, group support, hospices, biofeedback, acupuncture and home care. The "Complete Guide to Relieving Cancer Pain and Suffering" enables cancer patients to make informed decisions about their care and gives numerous, concrete suggestions on how patients and their families can work most efficiently and effectively with doctors. This volume will be of enormous value to the growing numbers of patients, family members, and health-care professionals who are determined to relieve needless cancer pain.