Module 10 - Pain Management - Overview and Assessment of Cancer Pain
Cancer associated pain can be characterized as either acute nociceptive pain (with or without inflammatory components) or as persistent pain associated with neoplastic disease. A subset of patients (~25%) experiences persistent pain as a consequence of antineoplastic treatment. Recognition of these syndromes can guide additional clinical assessment and treatment. In patients with active cancer, the management of persistent pain is an essential element in a comprehensive strategy of palliative care, which emphasizes multidimensional assessment and the coordinated use of treatments that mitigate suffering and provide support to the patient and family (see Module 12). The treatment principles applicable to persistent cancer pain also apply to other types of persistent pain associated with progressive, potentially life limiting disorders. Should you have technical questions, please contact the AMA Unified Service Center at 1-800-621-8335. Should you have questions regarding the content of this activity, please contact Barry Dickinson at
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Module 10 - Pain Management - Overview and Assessment of Cancer Pain
Release Date:
June 30, 2013
Expiration Date: December 31, 2014

For course materials click here. Access to the course materials is free, however you will need to register in order to receive CME credit. 

  1. Evaluate and interpret the pain complaint in the patient with cancer.  
  2. Integrate consideration of the impact of pain on quality of life in the management of cancer-related pain.  
  3. Describe common cancer pain syndromes.
Receiving Your CME Credit
To claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, you must; 1) register for the activity, 2) pay the registration fee, 3) successfully complete the quiz by answering 3 out of 4 questions correctly, and 4) complete the evaluation.

Target Audience
This continuing medical education program is intended for primary care physicians and those physicians who care for patients experiencing pain.

Statement of Need
Pain is one of the most prevalent medical complaints in the U.S. For the millions of Americans who experience persistent pain, the impact on function and quality of life can be profound; such pain is associated with a high utilization of healthcare and substantial economic costs. Many options exist for paint management. Physicians must utilize a rational approach to the selection, administration, and titration of medications used in pain management, while integrating useful nonpharmacologic options. Although opioid medications are commonly viewed as drugs of choice for acute pain and the pain of terminal illness, their use for chronic non-cancer pain has increased substantially during the past two decades in association with a deeply concerning rise in prescription drug abuse, unintentional overdoses, and deaths. Physicians need current, state-of-art education to develop the skills necessary to manage patients with persistent pain, including determining whether opioid analgesics are appropriate for use, and if so, to use them safely and effectively.

Statement of Competency
This activity is designed to address the following ABMS/ACGME competencies: patient care and medical knowledge.

Credit Designation Statement
The American Medical Association designates this enduring material for a maximum of .75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Accreditation Statement
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Planning Committee
Barry D. Dickinson, PhD - CME Program Committee, Secretary, Council on Science & Public Health, American Medical Association
Rita LePard - CME Program Committee, American Medical Association
Russell K Portenoy, MD - Contributing Author, Planning Committee, Chairman, Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care,
Beth Israel Medical Center New York, NY Professor of Neurology and Anesthesiology Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY
Janet Williams, MA – Product Manager Senior Policy Analyst, American Medical Association

Russell K. Portenoy, MD - Contributing Author , Chairman, Department of Pain Medicine, and Palliative Care, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY, Professor of Neurology and Anesthesiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY

Arthur G. Lipman, PharmD, FASHP - Clinical Content Reviewer, University Professor, Department of Pharmacotherapy, College of Pharmacy, Adjunct Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, Director of Clinical Pharmacology, Pain Management Center, University Health Care, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Editor, Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy

Charles E. Argoff, MD – Reviewer, Professor of Neurology, Albany Medical College, Director, Comprehensive Pain Center, Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY

Jonathan S. Berek, MD, MMS - Clinical Content Reviewer, Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Director, Stanford Women's Cancer Center, Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA

Reed Thompson, MD , FACS - Clinical Content Reviewer, Associate Professor, Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR  

Karen Knox, PhD, RN, ARNP, MSN, MPH, ACNS-BC - Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Clinical Content Reviewer, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Allen College, Waterloo, IA

Vitaly Gordin, MD -  Reviewer, Director for Pain Division, Department of Anesthesiology, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA

Martin Grabois, MD- Reviewer, President, American Academy of Pain Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Houston, Texas

Bill McCarberg, MD – Reviewer, Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California, San Diego, CA, Founder, Chronic Pain Management Program, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Escondido, CA

Cheryl L. Lambing, MD – Reviewer, Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California , Los Angeles, Medical Director for Professional and Community, Education and Outreach, Ventura County Health Care Agency, Ventura, CA

Bruce Ferrell, MD - Director, Reviewer, UCLA Adult Palliative Care Services, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Seddon R. Savage, MD, MS -  Reviewer, Pain Consultant, Manchester VAMC, Adjunct Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Disclosure Statement
The content of this activity does not relate to any product of a commercial interest as defined by the ACCME; therefore, neither the planners nor the faculty have relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Hardware/Software Requirements
Adobe Flash 9.0.115 or above
•Audio speakers or headphones
•Screen resolution of 800X600 or higher.
•MS Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc.
•Adobe Reader 5.0 or higher

Should you have technical questions, please contact the AMA Unified Service Center at 1-800-621-8335.

Should you have any questions regarding the content of this activity, please contact Barry Dickinson at

Type:  Internet Activity (Enduring Material)
Activity Price
146 Registered Users
0.75 Credits> AMA> AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

0 Credits> AMA> Certificate of Participation for Non-Physicians