Jeannine Brant on Assessing and Managing Breakthrough Cancer Pain

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Jeannine Brant, PhD, APRN-CNS, AOCN, of the Billings Clinic in Montana, discusses the importance of assessing and managing breakthrough cancer pain.

Jeannine Brant, PhD, APRN-CNS, AOCN, of the Billings Clinic in Montana, discusses the importance of assessing and managing breakthrough cancer pain.

First, nurses must learn how to properly assess breakthrough pain, which can easily be accomplished by asking their patients such questions as whether the pain is constant, how frequent it is, and what, if anything, makes it worse?

Next, the medical staff must find the best option to control the breakthrough cancer pain. However, Brant says that many clinicians run into obstacles because they do not know the options and doses of the medications that can be used, the cost is often high, or the provider is apprehensive about prescribing drugs such as morphine. But once the pain is properly assessed and the providers become more familiar with treatment options, breakthrough cancer pain can be managed.

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