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ARTICLE |

Relief of Cancer Pain by Surgical and Nerve Blocking Procedures

Donlin M. Long, MD
JAMA. 1980;244(24):2759-2761. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310240051028.
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WHILE virtually any cancer is capable of causing pain, those that most frequently require pain therapy are the invasive head and neck cancers, carcinoma of the lung, carcinoma of the breast, carcinoma of the pancreas, colorectal cancer, and carcinoma of the cervix. When making a decision about cancer pain therapy, it is important to recognize the phase of the disease, estimate the patient's longevity, and make an accurate diagnosis concerning the cause of the pain. The aphorism that pain in a cancer patient is due to the tumor until proved otherwise is undoubtedly true, but other causes of pain do exist and must be carefully separated from the pain of the cancer itself, for the therapies may be extremely different. As a general rule, destructive procedures should not be used in the early phases of cancer pain, for the primary therapy offers the best chance of pain relief. During an

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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