What is breakthrough cancer pain (BTCP)?
Breakthrough cancer pain happens even though you are taking pain medicine regularly for your persistent pain. It’s called breakthrough cancer pain because it “breaks through” the pain relief you get from your regular pain medicine. Breakthrough cancer pain episodes often come on quickly, and without warning. You may experience several breakthrough cancer pain episodes a day, which typically last around 60 minutes.
The Breakthrough Cancer Pain Tracker tool will help you record valuable information about your breakthrough cancer pain. When filling out the Tracker, be sure to note:
- The date and time of the episode
- What, if any, activity caused the episode
- How bad the pain was at its worst
- Where you felt the pain
- What the pain felt like
- What medication you took to manage the pain, and how much
- How quickly the medication began to work
- How well the medication relieved the pain episode
- Any notes about the episode or questions for your healthcare provider
If you are not satisfied with your pain relief, please talk to your healthcare provider.
Why is it important to track breakthrough cancer pain?
Use this Breakthrough Cancer Pain Tracker tool, and begin recording your breakthrough cancer pain episodes. Tracking your breakthrough episodes for one week may help you and your healthcare provider see a pattern to your pain. Sharing this information with your healthcare provider will help them learn more about your pain, how well it is being managed, and what treatment changes may be necessary.