Radiotherapy Relieves Pain from Bone Tumors in Elderly Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Cancer that spreads to the bones can cause debilitating pain that is often treated with morphine, an opioid drug that has its own downsides, from grogginess to nausea to constipation. But radiotherapy could lessen the need for morphine among elderly individuals with bone tumors, researchers reported at the 2013 forum of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology. The researchers gave radiotherapy to patients aged 75 years and up whose cancer (primarily breast, lung, or prostate) had spread to their bones. Regular follow-up surveys revealed that a single radiotherapy treatment helped relieve pain. The surveys also showed that despite their physical impairments, the elderly patients treated with radiotherapy were as satisfied with their quality of life as younger patients.