Cancer Care and the Opioid Crisis

The vast majority of patients diagnosed with cancer will have episodes of moderate to severe pain related to their underlying malignancy and/or painful procedures such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy-induced mucositis, or from stem cell transplantation. Opioids remain the most important pharmacologic agents for the management of these distressing symptoms. In recent years, the opioid overdose epidemic has created considerable concern among numerous stakeholders including healthcare providers, patients, pharmaceutical agencies, as well as federal, state, and local government agencies. This special series presents highly informative scholarly articles on opioid therapy in cancer pain management within the context of the recent national guidelines and policies related to the use of opioids.

Co-Editors

Eduardo Bruera, MD, PAAHPM Joseph Arthur, MD
Medical Director Assistant Professor
Division of Cancer Medicine,
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Palliative Care and Rehabiltation Medice, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

 

For a breakdown of each article and its significance, read Dr. Arthur's Note HERE

 

Articles


The Other Opioid Crisis: Just Another Drug Shortage?
Tara E. Soumerai, Mihir M. Kamdar, Bruce A. Chabner
The Oncologist 2019; 24:574-575; first published on February 28, 2019; doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2018-0514

 

Safe Opioid Use, Storage, and Disposal Strategies in Cancer Pain Management
Akhila Reddy, Maxine de la Cruz
The Oncologist first published on May 16, 2019; doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0242

 

Navigating Challenging Conversations About Nonmedical Opioid Use in the Context of Oncology
Zachary Sager, Julie Childers
The Oncologist first published on May 31, 2019; doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0277

 

Risk Assessment and Monitoring of Patients with Cancer Receiving Opioid Therapy
Judith A. Paice
The Oncologist first published on May 22, 2019; doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0301

 

Best Practices in the Management of Nonmedical Opioid Use in Patients with Cancer‐Related Pain
Esad Ulker, Egidio Del Fabbro
The Oncologist first published on December 24, 2019; doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0540

 

Dancing with Deterrents: Understanding the Role of Abuse-Deterrent Opioid Formulations and Naloxone in Managing Cancer Pain
Megan T. Mitchell
The Oncologist first published on May 31, 2019; doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0340

 

Opioid Prescribing Trends in Women Following Mastectomy or Breast‐Conserving Surgery Before and After the 2014 Federal Reclassification of Hydrocodone
Derrick C. Gibson, Lin‐Na Chou, Mukaila A. Raji, Jacques G. Baillargeon, Yong‐Fang Kuo
The Oncologist first published on December 4, 2019; doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0758

 

Urine Drug Testing in Cancer Pain Management
Joseph A. Arthur
The Oncologist first published on October 11, 2019; doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0525