Module E: Cancer Pain Management

CE Credits: 1.7

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This module explores how pain—sometimes related to cancer, or caused by cancer treatment—is an often-neglected part of cancer care. This module details the variety of pharmaceutical treatments for cancer-related pain (as well as their potential interactions or risk factors); non-pharmaceutical treatments, from heat to acupuncture and psychotherapy, and how to gauge their efficacy; and the more invasive pain management procedures, such as nerve blocks. Then, the module examines the national standards and guidelines related to pain management, and how those pertain to a case manager’s role in facilitating palliative or end-of-life pain management for cancer patients.

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Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
Describe the unique characteristics of cancer pain management
» Discuss pharmaceutical approaches to cancer pain relief
» Examine the types of non-pharmaceutical approaches to pain relief for cancer pain
» Differentiate among the various types of pain interventions to include medications, peripheral nerve catheters, epidural steroid
injections, epidural catheters, implanted pumps and stimulators
» Identify the pain management standards and guidelines for cancer pain and the case manager’s role in palliative and end of life care

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Advance your professional practice:: Case managers can have a profound impact on the care of cancer patients by understanding how effective pain management can improve quality of life and overall care. If we understand how pain is a part of cancer—and the obstacles that may make it hard for patients to seek the appropriate treatment for it—we can help facilitate that care.

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Improve organizational performance: When case managers and transdisciplinary healthcare professionals work together to effectively manage the pain of cancer patients, we can improve quality of life and also reduce complications related to undertreated or mistreated pain.