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Dr. Kathleen Foley, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Discusses the World Health Organization Guidelines for Cancer Pain Management.
Kathleen M. Foley, MD, an Attending Neurologist in the Pain & Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, believes that one of the most important advances in the quality of care provided to patients with cancer pain were the guidelines developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the 1980s.
Foley notes that these guidelines made an enormous difference in the way that cancer pain was managed, throughout the world. In general, the guidelines dealt with the use of pharmacologic agents, as the mainstay approach.
However, as time progressed, it became clear that managing pain in cancer patients didn’t just involve pharmaceuticals. This type of pain is more complex, Foley explains, and requires a larger team of individuals working together to improve pain for patients with cancer.