Cancer Pain Relief and Palliative Care in Children

  • ISBN 9789241545129

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A guide to the relief of pain and other symptoms in children suffering from cancer. It aims to ensure that paediatric oncologists and other health professionals have the information and arguments they need to relieve pain, improve quality of life, and reduce the distress of patients and their families. The book opens with facts and figures indicating the global magnitude of problems related to childhood cancer and the large percentage of patients who will experience severe pain. Reasons for the widespread inadequacy of pain control are also discussed. Against this background, the text presents clinical advice in two parts. The first discusses the components of palliative care, stressing the need to provide pain relief within the context of a holistic approach that recognizes children's psychological, social and spiritual problems. A discussion of the main types of pain in childhood cancer makes a distinction between developed countries and the developing world. The second part provides a detailed guide to therapeutic strategies, giving attention to the correct prescribing of analgesic drugs.
A description of the principles of pain assessment in children is followed by practical advice on the use of simple behavioural, cognitive and supportive pain-relieving measures. Subsequent chapters provide concise guidelines for analgesic drug therapy, describe specific drugs and recommended doses for pain relief in different situations, and explain appropriate ways of treating the predictable side effects of opioids. The guide concludes with discussions of priorities in professional education, legislative and policy issues, and requirements for the organization of cancer pain relief programmes.
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