Navigating Cancer and Fentanyl DependenceCancer is overwhelming. While treatments have improved radically over the course of the last several decades, there are still many things to navigate when you receive a cancer diagnosis.

One of the issues that affect as many as 55% of cancer patients during treatment is pain. Even after treatment, moderate to severe pain can continue in nearly 40% of cancer patients. Fentanyl is a legal opioid that is a very effective treatment for cancer-related pain.

However, it is also highly addictive. Using fentanyl for an extended period can lead to opioid dependence. A person who becomes dependent on fentanyl may need to use higher doses of the drug or find illicit drugs once they can no longer access fentanyl. It was previously believed that cancer patients almost never developed an opioid use disorder from using opioids like fentanyl for cancer pain. But, doctors are now discovering that may not be true.

Nevertheless, the relationship between fentanyl and cancer can be complicated. Patterns of behavior normally associated with drug-seeking may mean something different when it concerns a cancer patient. When considering pain and how to manage it, there is still lack of knowledge. This article and the resources it contains provide thorough information on opioids, opioid treatment, managing pain through alternative methods, and other topics related to cancer pain and pain treatment.