LAHORE - Freedom from pain should be seen as a right of every cancer patient and access to therapy as a measure of respect for this right.
Addressing an international workshop on “Palliative Care for Cancer Patients”, here at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Monday, former consultant of World Health Organisation and American expert on palliative medicine Prof Pamela M Sutton said that cancer pain relief cannot be considered in isolation.
“Pain relief should be seen as part of a comprehensive pattern of care which encompasses the physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of suffering and which has come to be known as palliative care”, she explained. She further said that cancer is a major world problem. Every year about 7 million new cases are diagnosed, half of them in developing countries, and about 5 million people die. She added that of the eight most common forms of cancer , five are more prevalent in developing countries.
”Even if diagnosis is made at an early stage, treatment is curative in only three types; palliative care is needed in all types”, she opined.
Dr Pamela said that the goal of palliative care is achievement of the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.  Veteran nurse from Florida, USA, Joann Rosencrans said that nurses have a major role to play in palliative care.