Main Content

Cancer Pain Services

The mission of the Anesthesiology Cancer Pain Services is to provide safe, state-of-the-art care to patients in pain from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses by promoting academic achievement, strong clinical service, education and research.

Clinical services focus on the provision of a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach for cancer pain management that enhances the quality of human life.

Educational efforts stress evidence-based education and comprehensive training in the field of cancer pain medicine and end-of-life issues.

Basic and clinical research projects are developed to focus on developing novel pain management strategies.

Clinical services

  • Consultations and follow-up care
  • Implementation of procedural and medical pain treatment strategies
  • Lectures to the medical and lay communities to promote awareness of the options available in cancer pain management and end-of-life care


The vision of the Anesthesiology Cancer Pain Services is to promote within and without the University of Mississippi Medical Center the following guidelines for cancer pain management and end-of-life care:

  • To inform clinicians and patients and their families that most cancer pain can be relieved by available methods.
  • To dispel unfounded fears that addiction results from the appropriate use of medications to control cancer pain.
  • To inform clinicians that cancer pain
    • accompanies both disease and treatment.
    • changes over time.
    • may have multiple simultaneous causes.
    • if unrelieved, can affect the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being of the patient.
  • To promote prompt and effective assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pain in patients with cancer.
  • To strengthen the ability of patients with cancer and their families to communicate new or unrelieved pain in order to secure prompt evaluation and effective treatment.
  • To provide clinicians with a synthesis of the literature and expert opinion for application to the management of cancer pain.
  • To familiarize patients and their families with options available for pain relief and to promote their active participation in selecting among these.
  • To provide a model for cancer pain management to guide therapy in selected painful, life-threatening conditions such as AIDS.
  • To provide information and guidelines on the use of controlled substances for the treatment of cancer pain that distinguishes the use of these drugs for legitimate medical purposes from their abuse as illegitimate drugs.
  • To identify health policy and research issues that affect cancer pain management.

Not all cancer pain or associated symptoms can be entirely eliminated, but available approaches, when appropriately and attentively applied, effectively relieve pain in most patients. The importance of effective pain management extends beyond analgesia to encompass the patient's quality of life and ability to function in the family and society.

Because patients vary greatly in their diagnoses and stage of disease progression, their responses to pain and interventions, and their personal preferences, the Anesthesiology Cancer Pain Services offers a flexible approach to the management of cancer pain that clinicians can use in daily practice. The approach emphasizes the following:

  • A collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to pain control, including all members of the health care team, with participation of the patient and the patient's family.
  • An individualized pain control plan developed and agreed on by patients, their families, and practitioners.
  • Ongoing assessment of the patient's pain.
  • Both pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies to prevent and/or control pain.
  • A formalized, institutional approach to the management of cancer pain, with clear lines of responsibility for pain management and for monitoring the quality of pain management.