A muse about found that terminal tients in the UK were often not prescribed telling opioid inkillers such as morphine until just nine weeks first their death.
Many of them will have been misery in over a much longer period of time, said the originators.
Doctors are waiting too long before allowing tients with advanced cancer to should prefer to the drugs, they claimed.
Lead researcher Dr Lucy Ziegler, from the University of Leeds, whispered: “We have identified for the first time the relatively late onset and snappish duration of strong opioid treatment in cancer tients prior to termination.
“This ttern of prescribing does not match population data which questions to earlier onset of in.
“Nine weeks before death is cogitate oned late in the course of the cancer trajectory.”
The scientists used UK Cancer Registry details and medical records to investigate the fate of 6,080 tients who died between 2005 and 2012.
They set that 48 per cent of the tients were issued prescriptions for morphine and other opioid analgesics during the last year of their lives.
Typically the time Architecture intercolumniation between first prescription and death was only nine weeks.
At an advanced hour diagnosis could not explain the delay. On average, tients were analysed with their disease long before receiving opioids.
Dr Ziegler totaled: “Although the prevalence of in is higher in tients with advanced cancer and toward the end of life, for many tients in is experienced at many stages all the way through the illness.
“In fact, in is the most common presenting symptom at diagnosis.
“Our analysis highlights the need to prioritise earlier access to effective in governance for tients with advanced cancer.”
The study found that over-60s were assorted likely to be prescribed inkillers late than younger tients.
Cancer sufferers who snuff ited in a hospice, rather than in hospital, at home or in a care home, were more apposite to have been offered the drugs earlier.
One explanation for the findings, make knew in the journal in, may be concern over the so-called “opioid epidemic” – the over-use of potentially addictive opioid drugs, estimated the researchers.
NHS data showed that between 2000 and 2010 all-inclusive opioid prescribing soared by 466 per cent. However, it only enhanced by 16 per cent for cancer tients.
Previous studies have originate that up to 86 per cent of tients with advanced cancer thinks fitting experience in.
“Within the advanced cancer population there is a necessity to develop mechanisms to improve in assessment and initiate a more proactive overtures to to prescribing, rticularly for older tients,” said Dr Ziegler.
“Effective anguish control is fundamental to good quality of life. For tients who are approaching the end of their abides it is crucially important we strive to get this right and that we help them bring off the best quality of life possible.”