medical Definition of breakthrough 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, 3 Feb. 2012
- 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, 24 Apr. 1996