On the afternoon of April 18, 2022, FV Hospital successfully organised a CME training programme with the topic “Cancer Pain Management: New Insight”, held both as an in-person event at the Auditorium, third floor, F Building, FV Hospital, and streamed online via Microsoft Teams. The programme attracted more than 200 participants, including doctors, nurses and other medical staff in HCMC, Hue and Hanoi, all of whom are interested in pain management.
The following specialists in the field of pain management spoke during the event:
- Than Ha Ngoc The, MD, PhD: Deputy Chairwoman, Vietnam Palliative Health Care Society; Deputy Chairwoman, HCMC Geriatrics; Head of Geriatrics Department, Vice Head of Palliative Care Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at HCMC; Head of Geriatrics and Palliative Care, University Medical Centre at HCMC
- Dr Louis Brasseur, Head of FV Hospital’s Pain Clinic
- Hoang Quang Cuong, MD, MSc, Pain Management Unit, 108 Military Central Hospital
- Specialist Level I, Dr Nguyen Nam Binh, Pain Clinic, FV Hospital
Dr Henri Marries, Deputy Medical Director of FV, delivered the opening ceremony
Delivering the opening ceremony, Dr Henri Marries, Deputy Medical Director of FV Hospital, said: “Cancer and cancer treatments often cause many unwanted side effects, including physical pain and psychological suffering. It is the duty of doctors to reduce pain caused by cancer and cancer treatment to help our patients to live comfortably, especially those in the last years of their life. During today’s programme, speakers will share their clinical knowledge and practical experience in the process of palliative care and pain relief for cancer patients so that everyone can better understand this relatively new field.”
Than Ha Ngoc The, MD, PhD presented at the CME
At the beginning of the training session, Than Ha Ngoc The, MD, PhD presented on the topic “Palliative care and the role of palliative care in pain control in cancer patients”, emphasising the importance of holistic care for cancer patients in reducing physical, mental, psychological, and social pain. Pain management must be individualised for each patient based on their pain scale so that appropriate analgesia can be provided with the goal of keeping patients comfortable and pain-free during treatment. In particular, Dr Than Ha Ngoc The emphasised that “Access to appropriate pain relief and palliative care is a human right.”
Specialist Level I, Dr Nguyen Nam Binh, Pain Clinic, FV Hospital
Dr Ngoc The was followed by Dr Nguyen Nam Binh, Specialist Level I, whose talk was themed “Treatment of pain in cancer at FV Hospital”. In her presentation, Dr Binh shared comprehensive overviews of pain management therapies including drugs, physical therapy and psychological treatment, and how doctors can best support their patients who develop cancer in their more senior years. Dr Nam Binh emphasised that providing pain relief during cancer treatment doesn’t solely mean prescribing “opioids such as morphine” as many people think—often very simple therapies and other drugs can help patients through this difficult part of their care. At FV, many patients have been successfully treated for pain relief and lived comfortably during the last days with their families and loved ones.
Hoang Quang Cuong, MD, MSc, Pain Management Unit, 108 Military Central Hospital
The next part of the program was delivered by Dr Hoang Quang Cuong from 108 Military Central Hospital, who flew from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City to present the new topic “Interventional procedures in the treatment of cancer pain at 108 Military Central Hospital”. Newly developed and introduced interventional pain therapies in Vietnam can be a lifesaver in cases when all known primary therapies have failed. These therapies both help to reduce severe pain and the number of days a patient must stay in the hospital, as well as minimising the number of hospitalisations overall.
Dr Louis Brasseur, Head of FV Hospital’s Pain Clinic
The final topic of the program “Cancer Pain and Chronic Pain Management by Spinal Administration of Drugs: External vs Internal Pumps” was presented by Dr Louis Brasseur as a sophisticated therapy that has been applied by many developed countries, but not yet in Vietnam. He hopes that in the near future, young doctors can quickly implement this method in Vietnam to serve patients with chronic pain or pain related to cancer.
The program ended successfully after more than three hours, and attendees departed with useful information on issues related to pain treatment in cancer. Hopefully, with the knowledge and experience shared during the training session, participating medical staff will be able to understand more about the field of palliative care and effectively apply it to the medical examination and treatment process, bringing about new benefits to the health care system. Over time, the quality of treatment available in Vietnam is getting better and better for patients generally, especially those being treated for cancer.