These findings emerged from an NIH State-of-the-Science conference on Symptom Management in Cancer: Pain, Depression and Fatigue that began Monday, July 15 at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference brought together national experts to address key questions regarding the occurrence, assessment, and treatment of these symptoms, barriers to their effective treatment, and directions for future research in the area.
"Currently, cancer-related pain, depression, and fatigue are undertreated and this situation is simply unacceptable -- there are effective strategies to manage these symptoms and all patients should have optimal symptom control," said panel chair Dr. Donald Patrick, Professor and Director of the Social and Behavioral Research Program in Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Despite advances in early detection and effective treatment, cancer remains one of the most feared diseases, not only because of its association with death but with diminished quality of life. While research is producing new insights into the causes and cures of cancer, efforts to manage the symptoms of the disease and its treatments have not kept pace. There are nearly 9 million people in the U.S. with a history of cancer. An estimated 1.3 million will be diagnosed with cancer this year and of those, 60% will be alive in 5 years. Addressing the total quality of life of cancer patients, including t
Contact: Kelli Marciel
NIH/Office of the Director