Oncology & Cancer

Broken heart syndrome linked with cancer

One in six people with broken heart syndrome had cancer and they were less likely to survive for five years after it occurred, according to new international research in Journal of the American Heart Association.

Medical research

New pain organ discovered in the skin

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered a new sensory organ that is able to detect painful mechanical damage, such as pricks and impacts. The discovery is being published in the journal Science.

Oncology & Cancer

Q&A: Pain management during colonoscopy

Dear Mayo Clinic: I just turned 50, and my health care provider recommends that I get a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. I want to have the test done, but as a recovering addict, I don't want pain medication. Is this ...

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Analgesic

An analgesic (also known as a painkiller) is any member of the diverse group of drugs used to relieve pain (achieve analgesia). The word analgesic derives from Greek an- ("without") and algos ("pain"). Analgesic drugs act in various ways on the peripheral and central nervous systems; they include paracetamol (acetaminophen), the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as the salicylates, narcotic drugs such as morphine, synthetic drugs with narcotic properties such as tramadol, and various others.

In choosing analgesics, the severity and response to other medication determines the choice of agent; the WHO pain ladder, originally developed in cancer-related pain, is widely applied to find suitable drugs in a stepwise manner. The analgesic choice is also determined by the type of pain: for neuropathic pain, traditional analgesics are less effective, and there is often benefit from classes of drugs that are not normally considered analgesics, such as tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants.

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