Advances in the management of cancer pain.
The study of pain in the cancer patient offers a unique opportunity to use clinical observations to advance biologic knowledge. The cancer patient unfortunately represents the experimental model of pain. This group of heroic patients can help teach us the physiologic and psychologic differences between acute and chronic pain, the importance and evolution of psychologic factors, the difference between pain and suffering, the clinical pharmacology of analgesic drugs, and the behavioral mechanisms humans use to suppress pain. They are a rich resource of research potential which should not go untapped. The development of better methods of pain control will benefit all patients with pain. There is a pressing need to develop innovative approaches based on sound, scientific principles, and advances in research technology offer us the opportunity to understand the complex phenomenon of pain.
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