Sharon Watanabe, MD, FRCPC and Yoko Tarumi, MD, Tertiary Palliative Care Unit, Regional Palliative Care Program, Edmonton, AB.
Cancer pain is a significant problem in older adults. Management in this population is made more challenging by issues such as comorbid conditions and age-related alterations in drug disposition. The first step is to perform a multidimensional assessment in order to identify the various factors that may influence the perception and expression of pain. The second step is to apply a process of targeted interventions, which optimizes the use of pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies and takes into consideration the unique characteristics of the older patient.
Key words: cancer pain, pain assessment, opioids, adjuvant analgesics.