VALENCIA, 4 September 2019 – Multi-modal pain treatment for cancer patients, as well as continuous assessment and understanding the risk factors for opioid misuse, will reduce the potential harm of opioids in cancer care, delegates at the European Pain Federation’s biennial Congress in Valencia, Spain, will be told this week. Professor Judith Paice, Director of the Cancer Pain Program at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, US, will tell the 3,500 delegates at the EFIC Congress that comprehensive assessment and reassessment of pain, function and risk factors for misuse must all be incorporated into oncology and pain care for patients with a malignant cancer.

Professor Paice said: “The increase in cancer prevalence is the result of extraordinary advances in diagnosis and treatment. Some of these cancers and their treatments can produce acute and persistent pain. However, the long-term use of opioids to treat that pain may produce harm.” Professor Paice continued: “Pain is a serious complication of cancer and cancer treatment and it can affect all aspects of an individual’s life. But there are other ways we can relieve pain apart from opioids, such as non-opioids, adjuvant analgesics, as well as a great many non-drug therapies.

“Cancer patients should receive a multi-modal pain treatment strategy, that is constantly being assessed against how they are doing. That way, we can use lower doses of opioids while still providing excellent pain control. “Education is key, both for healthcare professionals that treat cancer patients, as well as for patients and their family members, in particular to overcome some of the stigma that may be attached to non-pharmacological treatments for pain.”

Other highlights at the Congress include presentations on the latest advances in neurostimulation; the relation between gender and migraines; how pain is experienced differently between different age-groups; how the evolution of digital healthcare will impact pain treatment; and whether there is an opioid crisis in Europe. The Congress, between 4-7 September, is the largest scientific congress on pain in 2019, bringing together the most recognised experts in the field of pain medicine to exchange knowledge, ideas and the latest advances in the field.


For more information, contact: Vittoria Carraro ( or Sam Kynman ( To interview Professor Judith Paice, contact Dennis Landsbert-Noon (


The European Pain Federation (EFIC) is a multidisciplinary professional organisation in the field of pain research and medicine. Established in 1993, EFIC constituent chapters represent Pain Societies from 37 European countries and close to 20,000 physicians, basic researchers, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals across Europe, who are involved in pain management and pain research.