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Book and Media Reviews
June 23 2010

Cancer Pain: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Management

JAMA. 2010;303(24):2529-2533. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.848

“The goal in pain management must always be to improve and not impair quality of life.” Dermot Fitzgibbon and John Loeser preface their outstanding text, Cancer Pain: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Management, with this statement before launching into an in-depth analysis of pain and other symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment.

While most practitioners may be familiar with cancer-related pain as a composite entity, they may not be familiar with its different nociceptive and neuropathic components. After reading this text, they will be. The authors systematically define the different mechanisms by which cancer can cause pain and then provide a detailed analysis of each aspect of the problem. For example, they write that “Tumor involvement of the peripheral nervous system has many manifestations and can include lesions within the cerebrospinal fluid space, local invasion, compression of nerves, direct infiltration, perineural spread, and intraneural metastases.”

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