One persistent and potentially debilitating problem breast cancer patients suffer with is postoperative pain. Studies show that proper pain management is an essential component in the healing process, but undertreatment of pain symptoms remains an ongoing issue in the oncology community. Opioids, which are the mainstay of cancer pain management, have a variety of negative side effects, such as constipation, nausea, altered mental status, and respiratory depression, and may play a role in.. increasing the likelihood of cancer recurrence.
At the recent 32nd Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference, pain management following breast surgery was an integral part of the program. The ASCO Post spoke with Conference Chairman Patrick Borgen, MD, who has been a vocal advocate for reducing the use of opioids in the postoperative breast surgery setting.
Dr. Borgen has been Chairman of the American College of Surgeons Breast Cancer Trials Group, as well as a Member of the Executive Board of Directors of the American Society for the Study of Breast Disease. He is currently on the Executive Boards of the Breast Cancer Alliance, Inc. and of Tulane University, and a member of the American Joint Committee on Cancer, Breast Task Force.
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