Unmanaged Cancer Pain
John completed his cancer treatment 3 months ago. He continues to have a lot of pain in the area close to where his tumor was removed. He is very embarrassed about having the pain. He feels he should be strong and just ignore the pain. His new girlfriend, Cathy, called the Cancer Center to let them know that he was having pain. The nurse from the Cancer Center asked him about the type of pain he was having and how often it happened. Over the phone she collected information for the "cancer pain "inventory". John's "worst pain" score was a "6". The nurse also decided that the type of pain was "cancer related" rather than some other type of pain. The nurse told him about a pain control clinical trial that he may be eligible to take part in. The trial requires that his "worst pain" score be at least a "6";. The clinical trial does not include any drugs. It is an education study to help patients find better ways to manage their pain.
Question: Do you think educational programs can help John or others successfully learn to control or reduce their cancer-related pain?
Answer: Although educational programs don't work for everyone or for all types of cancer pain, there are many ways to control pain without using drugs.
John's biggest challenge is that he will need to take part in education classes offered by the Cancer Center. He lives 120 miles away. He also works full time and doesn't want to miss any more work.
Question: Do you think John should try to take part in this trial even though he will have to drive 120 miles ONE way for several weeks of education classes at the Cancer Center?
Answer: It would be very difficult for John to stick with the educational program if he has to travel so far to take part in the clinical trial. So, this clinical trial may not be a good choice for him. John may want to ask the clinical trial staff if there is a way to participate in the trial at home.
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