Relieving Pain in Cancer Patients

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Rana Yamout, pain and palliative care specialist at Naif Cancer Center at AUBMC in Lebanon

My name is Rana Yamout, pain and palliative care specialist at Naif Cancer Center at AUBMC in Lebanon. As a pain and palliative care physician, we struggle on a daily basis to treat patients with cancer. As you may know, 80% of our cancer population suffer from pain. And, unfortunately, due to the current circumstances in Lebanon and the lack of availability and accessibility of medication, we’ve really struggled lately a lot to provide the best care for our patients.

Pain medication is one of our biggest struggles, especially in the last few years. So any donation, any pain medication, especially acetaminophen, was very helpful for our cancer patients. Acetaminophen is usually given as the basic pain medication for patients struggling with mild to moderate pain and as part of multimodal analgesia for patients struggling with severe pain. It is really very important. It helps the patient to relieve their pain and it’s an important and essential component of multimodal analgesia.

I can’t imagine treating patients with pain without having acetaminophen or other basic pain medications. Per the WHO ladders, acetaminophen stands as the first ladder and it’s really important in treating any patients with mild, moderate or severe pain. It’s part of the multimodal analgesia that we provide every day for every patient, for adults, for children, for elderly patients. And because of the safety profile of this medication, we feel very comfortable administering it for patients, for elderly patients, for patients with chronic diseases like kidney, chronic disease or even liver disease when we adjust the doses.

As a pain and palliative care physician, I am seeing every day adults and pediatric patients struggling with their chronic illness when they don’t have access to the basics they need, including pain medication, including cancer treatment, including social services or psychological support, which is really needed for any patients struggling with chronic illness, especially cancer patients. I really feel sad.

I have no words to say when I am in front of a patient suffering from pain and he needs this interdisciplinarity, which sometimes during these difficult circumstances we are lacking. We don’t have this opportunity or this option to offer for our patients.

So, I would like to thank anyone who thinks about us in Lebanon and who has decided to give us a generous donation. Thank you so much to everyone who thinks about us here.



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