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Cancer Pain

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Mellar Davis, MD


Akhila Reddy, MD

Cancer Pain is a subgroup of the Palliative Care Study Group

How to Join

To join a subgroup, you must be a MASCC member and a member of the parent study group. The parent study group of the Cancer Pain Subgroup is the Palliative Care Study Group.

  • Log in to your member account.
  • Click on Manage My Account/Profile.
  • Scroll down to your profile data and select “Edit”.
  • Then select the subgroup as one of your subgroup selections. Click SAVE.

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Mission and Goals

More than 80% of patients with advanced cancer develop severe pain, a primary concern for both patients and their caretakers. For these patients, opioids are a highly effective treatment that can reduce pain intensity, restore function, and improve quality of life. However, the drug, dosage, and route of administration are complex and must be personalized for maximum symptom control. In addition, addiction risk, overdose, drug interactions, opioid availability in developing countries, and the high cost of these drugs are critical issues in the use of opioids for cancer pain. The subgroup has been established to focus attention on these issues and to address some of the most challenging issues in cancer pain management. Topics of interest include the following:

  • Opioid choices: First- and second-line opioids used in cancer pain management
  • Opioid dosing strategies in acute and chronic pain management
  • Opioid availability: advocate for the availability of opioid analgesics in developing countries
  • Patient and caregiver perspectives on NARCAN® (naloxone HCl) spray for accidental opioid overdose and the impact of provider education on its prescription in high-risk patients
  • Development of guidelines to address non-medical opioid use among cancer patients
  • Buprenorphine as a means of tapering opioids in patients with prolonged abstinence and complex persistent dependence
MASCC is the most important society to which I belong. It is welcoming, multi-disciplinary, truly international, nurturing and career-building.
Prof Dorothy Keefe, MD (2022)


Recent scientific publications from the Cancer Pain Subgroup

Additional Resources