breakthrough pain


: a transient, usually severe episode of pain occurring in individuals (such as cancer patients) being treated for chronic pain
Breakthrough pain describes a temporary pain that cancer patients may experience even if they are on other pain pills. The pain can flare from just a few seconds to several hours.Ken Alltucker, The Arizona Republic
In fact, only 42% of the physicians administered pain medication appropriately, and 80% did not prescribe any medication for breakthrough pain, which occurs frequently in cancer patients.Stuart L. Nightingale, The Journal of the American Medical Association

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Cite this Entry

“Breakthrough pain.” Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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