ASCO Connection

July 2017

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The following is an excerpt from ASCO Answers: Managing Cancer-Related Pain, a new booklet from Cancer.Net. A doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant writes a pre- scription for a specific pain medi- cation because they feel it will treat your pain in a specific way. Carefully following the medication instructions will help ensure that you get the most benefit from the drug. When patients do not take medication according to the instructions, they often experience more side effects and a lower quality of life. How well the medication works may also be affected. CUT OR TE AR OUT THIS PAGE TO SHARE WITH A PATIENT, FRIEND, FAMILY MEMBER, OR COLLE AGUE . FROM THE SOCIETY l For Your Patients With any new pain medication prescrip- tion, remember to: Create a complete list of all the medications you already take. Include all prescription medications, over-the- counter drugs, and dietary supple- ments, such as vitamins or herbal supplements. Share and discuss this list with your health care team, includ- ing your pharmacist, to ensure that all of the medications remain effective. Keep taking the medication as pre- scribed, even if you do not notice an improvement in your symptoms right away. Many medications take a few In the new ASCO Answers: Managing Cancer Pain booklet, patients and their caregivers will learn about the causes of cancer-related pain, how it is diagnosed, and the types of pain-relief strategies available. The booklet includes a pain tracking sheet to help patients record how pain affects them. Download a printable PDF at or visit to order copies for your practice (available in packs of 50 or 125 booklets). ASCO members save 20% and receive free domestic shipping. Cancer.Net provides timely, comprehensive, oncologist-approved information from ASCO, with support from the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Cancer.Net brings the expertise and resources of ASCO to people living with cancer and those who care for and about them to help patients and families make informed health care decisions. weeks to start working. However, if you feel like the medicine just is not working, do not hesitate to talk with your doctor. Keep taking the medication as prescribed, even if you notice an improvement in your symptoms right away. Ask your doctor how long you should continue to take it. Contact your doctor if you start to feel worse while taking a medication. Share any new symptoms you notice. Talk with your doctor about medica- tion cost concerns that might lead you to reduce or skip a dose. Ask about local and national resources for financial help. Keep the information about the medication that comes with your prescription. This paper describes the drug, its possible side effects, and any potential drug interactions. Before you start a new medication, go over this information with a member of your health care team. Consider filling all of your prescrip- tions at the same pharmacy. By doing this, your pharmacist can keep a complete list of the medications you take and alert you to possible drug interactions. Drug interactions can happen when a medication reacts with another medication or supplement you take. This interaction can cause unex- pected side effects, some of which can be very serious, or reduce or increase the medication's strength. ā€¢ Taking Pain Medication Correctly SUPPORTED 56ā€‚Iā€‚07.2017

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