VA Medical Center Baltimore Clinical Trial Investigating the Efficacy of Exercise to Manage Neuropathic Pain in Lung Cancer Survivors

VA Medical Center Baltimore Clinical Trial Investigating the Efficacy of Exercise to Manage Neuropathic Pain in Lung Cancer Survivors

Lung cancer survivors face a myriad of challenges, including severe neuropathic pain such as numbness, tingling pins-and-needles type sensations, sensitivity to touch as well as muscle weakness, often common after-surgery and chemotherapy. Now the Baltimore VA Medical Center conducts a clinical trial named Exercise Rehabilitation in Veteran Cancer Survivors, investigating the role of exercise in managing neuropathic pain in lung cancer survivors.  Such pain can lead to debilitating long-term conditions, such as disability and, of course, opioid abuse.

The Challenge

As reported recently by VAntage Point's Courtney Franchio, a program manager with the VA’s National Oncology Program, the nation’s health systems for Veterans treat 8,000 lung cancer patients per year. This trial is for the 900,000 Veterans at risk for developing lung cancer due to a number of factors from aging and smoking to environmental exposure associated with their service.

Kathleen Griffith, PhD, MPH, FNP-BC, a research health scientist at the Baltimore VA shared some context that because the disease is now diagnosed earlier in the VA system that at least some lung cancer patients end up living longer, i...

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