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WHO Guidelines for the pharmacological and radiotherapeutic management of cancer pain in adults and adolescents

Published: January 1, 2019

Categories: Oncology Anaesthesia, Pain

Language: English


Cancer significantly impacts global health, leading to substantial pain among patients. In response, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed guidelines to improve cancer pain management for adults and adolescents, addressing the urgent need for effective pain relief in over half of cancer patients undergoing treatment or in advanced disease stages. These guidelines aim to guide healthcare providers in selecting appropriate pharmacologic and radiotherapeutic pain relief strategies, and to assist policymakers in creating balanced opioid regulations. The recommendations focus on three key areas: analgesia for cancer pain, adjuvant medicines, and managing pain from bone metastases. Emphasizing the safe and effective use of opioid analgesics, these guidelines are designed to enhance quality of life for cancer patients through evidence-based pain management practices, reflecting an update to the previous 1996 guidelines.