Jennifer Temel on Pain Management and Assessment

Jennifer Temel, MD, clinical director of thoracic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses pain management and assessment. 

Jennifer Temel, MD, clinical director of thoracic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses pain management and assessment. 

Pain is one of the most common symptoms in patients with advanced or metastatic cancer. In addition to the general discomfort of pain, severe cases can affect eating and sleeping.

Along with managing patient pain, healthcare providers can also educate patients about how to properly take pain medication. 

Advancements in screening for pain have been made over the last decade. Most providers at hospitals ask patients to rate their pain on a scale from 0 to 10. Some hospitals—including Massachusetts General Hospital—utilize the same practice in the outpatient setting. 

“We’re all trying to be really vigilant in assessing patients’ pain in all care settings,” Temel says.