eISSN: 1897-4309
ISSN: 1428-2526
Contemporary Oncology/Współczesna Onkologia
Current issue Archive Manuscripts accepted About the journal Supplements Addendum Special Issues Editorial board Abstracting and indexing Subscription Contact Instructions for authors Ethical standards and procedures
SCImago Journal & Country Rank
2/2021
vol. 25
 
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abstract:
Review paper

The role of complementary and alternative methods in the treatment of pain in patients with cancer – current evidence and clinical practice: a narrative review

Magdalena Kocot-Kępska
1
,
Renata Zajączkowska
2
,
Jing Zhao
3
,
Jerzy Wordliczek
2
,
Przemysław J. Tomasik
4
,
Anna Przeklasa-Muszyńska
1

1.
Department for Pain Research and Treatment, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
2.
Department of Interdisciplinary Intensive Care, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
3.
Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, TCM Clinic, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
4.
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Polish-American Children’s Hospital, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
Contemp Oncol (Pozn) 2021; 25 (2): 88–94
Online publish date: 2021/05/07
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Introduction
Pain related to cancer, despite the numerous treatment options available, is still a challenge in contemporary pain medicine. The unsatisfactory treatment of cancer pain is one of the main reasons why patients seek complementary and alternative methods (CAM) and a more integrative/holistic approach to pain management. The popularity of CAM forces healthcare professionals to provide patients with current and evidence-based information on the effectiveness and safety of CAM. The aim of the paper is to present current evidence and limitations regarding CAM commonly used in the pain management of cancer patients.

Material and methods
The paper comprehensively reviews the current and most relevant literature considering the integrative approach to management of pain due to cancer disease and/or cancer treatment.

Results
The available data from clinical trials, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews supports the effectiveness of acupuncture, massage, physical exercises, music therapy, and mind-body therapies as adjunct therapies for alleviating pain in cancer patients, although the supporting evidence is weak or moderate.

Conclusions
Based on the available knowledge, physicians should be capable of advising the cancer patient as to which CAM methods can be used safely, which are contraindicated, and what therapeutic effects they may expect, especially when standard pain treatment fails or induces serious side effects. An integrative approach to cancer pain management may improve the quality of pain treatment, patients’ quality of life, and satisfaction with pain relief.

keywords:

cancer pain, acupuncture, complementary and alternative methods, physical activity, pain management

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