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The need for a multidisciplinary approach to pain management in advanced cancer: A clinical case

  • Neha Didwaniya (a1), Kimberson Tanco (a2), Maxine de la Cruz (a2) and Eduardo Bruera (a2)

Advanced cancer patients are often affected by multiple complex symptoms brought about by persistent nociceptive stimuli and intense psychosocial distress. One such complex symptom, cancer pain, has continued to pose a challenge in medical management even though the concept of total pain was described several years ago by Cicely Saunders. Oftentimes, the application of a multidisciplinary approach is delayed after numerous opioid dose escalations and invasive procedures have been performed. The case presented here highlights the importance of timely multidisciplinary intervention and the use of an acute palliative care unit, which resulted in adequate pain control after multiple medical and invasive procedures that caused toxicities.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence to: Kimberson Tanco, Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine, Unit 1414, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030. E-mail:
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Palliative & Supportive Care
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