Opioid use in gynecologic oncology in the age of the opioid epidemic: Part I - Effective opioid use across clinical settings, a society of gynecologic oncology evidence-based review

Published:February 20, 2018DOI:


      • The appropriate role for opioids in pain management varies based on clinical setting
      • Opioids remain first line treatment for cancer-related pain
      • Consider minimizing opioid use in post-operative and survivorship settings
      • Patients should be counseled on expectations for & management of opioid side effects


      As the only oncologists that provide both medical and surgical oncologic care, gynecologic oncologists encounter an exceptionally broad range of indications for prescribing opioids, from management of acute post-operative pain to chronic cancer-related pain to end-of-life care. If we are to balance opioid efficacy, safety and accessibility for our patients, we must be intimately familiar with appropriate clinical use of opioids in a range of settings, and engage in the national conversation around opioid misuse and how associated regulations and legislation may impact us and our patients. This article examines the appropriate use of opioids across the range of clinical settings encountered in gynecologic oncology.


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