A New Cancer Pain Treatment Model

The World Health Organization published a 3-step model in 1986 for cancer pain management. It doesn’t allow for diagnostic individualization but it’s still used anyway. Experts presenting at the 7th World Congress of the World Institute of Pain say it’s time for a change to a biopsychosocial approach.


Instead of a cookie-cutter type of treatment, cancer pain management should be individualized based on patient values, psychological state, and support system. A more holistic approach would also allow for “significant variations in the amount of pain, suffering, and resulting coping behaviors among patients with the same anatomical abnormalities, or lack thereof,” stated Dr. Kris C.P. Vissers, president-elect of the World Institute of Pain.


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