The First Step in Treating Breakthrough Cancer Pain is to Recognize it
Talk to your patients during their next evaluation to discover what type of cancer pain they are experiencing. Ask them the following types questions to further understand the pain they are experiencing and take the first step in treating breakthrough cancer pain (BTCP):
Do you experience breakthrough pain?
BTCP happens even though you are taking medicine regularly for your constant pain. It’s called breakthrough pain.
Does it happen without cause, or do you notice it after a specific activity?
BTCP may be random and sporadic, but can also be brought on by certain activities. This would be considered ‘incident pain.’
Does the pain come on quickly?
BTCP often comes on suddenly and quickly.
How intense is the pain?
BTCP can be moderately to extremely intense. On a scale from mild to excruciating, it is usually characterized as being greater than moderate to severe or excruciating.
How long does the pain last?
BTCP is often short-lived, lasting around 30 minutes to an hour; episodes of increased pain can occur up to 1-7 times per day.
To better understand if your patients experience breakthrough pain, and to help you learn more about this unique pain, INSYS Therapeutics, Inc., has developed several pain assessment tools for use with your patients.
Breakthrough Pain Initial Questionnaire—15-item questionnaire that will help you assess if your patients are experiencing breakthrough pain, and determine how to best manage it. Download the Breakthrough Pain Initial Questionnaire and ask your patients to complete it in your office while they wait to see you.
Breakthrough Pain Follow-up Questionnaire —a 6-item questionnaire that will help you determine if your patient’s current medication/treatment is providing sufficient relief for their breakthrough pain. It may also help you determine how to adjust treatment to improve their overall pain management. Download the Breakthrough Pain Follow-up Questionnaire and ask your patients to complete it prior to their next visit with you. Request that they bring it with them on the next visit so they can share the information with you.
Breakthrough Pain Tracker —a patient diary that allows your patients to track and record information about their breakthrough pain. Download the Breakthrough Pain Tracker and ask your patients to begin recording their breakthrough pain episodes. Have your patient track their episodes for as long as you feel necessary. Ask them to bring in their tracker to their next visit to share the information with you. The tracker will help you learn more about their pain and will provide valuable feedback on their treatment.
References: 7. Deandrea S, Corli O, Consonni D, Villani W, Greco MT, Apolone G. Prevalence of breakthrough cancer pain: a systematic review and a pooled analysis of published literature. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2014;47(1):57-76.