Assessment and treatment of cancer pain: from Western to Eastern
Satisfactory control of the cancer pain remains the single most important element in palliative care, as failure of pain relief is a major threat to the quality of life. Inadequate classification and assessment would unavoidably lead to inappropriate and impractical treatment of cancer pain, which has been a striking challenge in cancer clinical practice for the past several decades. While the cancer pain characteristics are influenced by physiological, psychological, pathological, cultural and even social factors, a comprehensive assessment and an individualized plan of care should be provided throughout the course of illness. This review attempted to describe the framework, illustrate the present evidence supporting current classification methodologies and assessment approaches, and demonstrate the advance in multidisciplinary interventions for cancer pain syndrome, including Western and Traditional Chinese medicine.