I have worked as a specialist nurse in palliative care for 10 years both in hospital and community settings. In my current role I support and manage a multidisciplinary inpatient palliative care team and the cancer nursing team. My interest is in developing nursing care and promoting best practice in the assessment and management of symptoms, particularly pain assessment and management.
Unrelieved pain continues to be a significant symptom for patients with cancer. Pain prevalence ranges from 33% in patients after curative treatment to 59% in patients on anticancer treatment and to 64% in patients with metastatic and advanced disease (Van den Beuken-van Everdingen MHJ, 2007) Cancer-related pain is a worldwide healthcare issue in the context of the increasing incidence of cancer and treatments.
Reference (Van den Beuken-van Everdingen MHJ, De Rijke JM, Kessels AG et al. Prevalence of pain in patients with cancer: a systematic review of the past 40 years. Ann Oncol 2007; 18: 1437–1449)