Jennifer Temel on Screening for Cancer-Related Pain and Symptoms

November 30, 2015
Jennifer Temel, MD

Jennifer Temel, MD, clinical director of thoracic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses screening for pain and other cancer-related symptoms.

Jennifer Temel, MD, clinical director of thoracic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses screening for pain and other cancer-related symptoms.

Traditionally, nurses have done a better job than physicians at screening patients for pain and other cancer-related symptoms. Temel says that patients often feel more comfortable with the way nurses communicate and are more likely to be honest about how they are feeling.

Patients may be hesitant to report symptoms such as fatigue or shortness of breath, out of fear that it would stop their treatment. Temel says that oncology providers always need to encourage patients to identify all of their symptoms.