Effective Symptom Management:working with your teamSuzana Makowski, MD
Goals• What are your goals for todays talk?• Pain and other physical symptoms• Psychological, spiritual, and social concerns• Where to turn?
Managing Pain• It is common• Barriers to treatment are many• What can you do? • Keep track of your pain and use of medicines • Work with your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist - team approach • Address your worries
What doctors need toknow about your Pain• Location• Intensity: how bad is it?• Quality: what does it feel like?• Timeline• What makes it better/worse • What have you tried, were there side effects...
Opioids• Addiction versus dependence versus tolerance• Long-acting and short-acting (immediate release)• Pill/liquid versus IV• Side effects: • constipation - doesnt go away • Sleepiness, nausea • Less common: confusion, twitching (myoclonus)
Weakness and fatigue• Let your doctor know• How are you sleeping?• There are many causes and treatment is targeted when possible • Anemia • Insomnia • Anxiety, depression, stress • Other...
Psychological symptoms• Anxiety, fear, uncertainty• Depression, sadness, grief• Concern for family and future• Dignity• Resilience and hope
Your team• Doctors• Nurses• Social worker• Psychologist• Family, friends, chaplains• When you need more help: palliative care
What is palliative care?• Treatment that focuses on alleviating suffering, improving sense of well-being• It is available at all stages of illness• It can be offered alone or during other therapies/treatment in the hospital, and sometimes at home or in a clinic• It is a team approach - lending support to patients and their family
Other resources• The Center for Mindfulness• www.cancer-pain.org• www.getpalliativecare.org
Summary• Work with your team... Were here to help• Treat and identify symptoms early: • pain, fatigue, GI symptoms, psychological concerns Youre not alone We want to help We can help