More than a decade of laboratory and human research suggests that opioid drugs and the body’s natural opioids may play a role in the growth and spread of cancer. Opioids include narcotic pain relievers as well as chemicals that the body generates.
Anesthesiologists have been re-evaluating how to provide anesthesia and pain control for advanced cancer patients while minimizing the negative effects of opioids. Dr. Eugene Viscusi, director of Acute Pain Management in the Department of Anesthesiology at Jefferson, explains that the latest findings “are very significant” and fit in with emerging signs that opiates given to cancer patients during and after surgery “may play a role in tumor growth and survival.”
Read “Opioids May Play Role in Cancer Growth” to learn more.
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