Cancer-Related Pain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cancer pain is a common symptom and syndrome in patients with a history of cancer. Up to 75% of patients with cancer will experience pain severe enough to require treatment with opioids during their illness and recovery course. Unrelieved pain can directly affect a patient’s health, treatment, and quality of life. Ensuring safe and effective pain management while avoiding over-prescribing, overuse, and potential for aberrant use of opioids is of increasing importance, given the increase of reported cases of opioid diversion, overdose, and death. This coupled with other patient-, provider-, and system-based factors serve as barriers to timely and appropriate management of cancer related pain. Comprehensive assessment of the patient and his/her pain experience is critical to optimal pain management. Gaining an understanding of the severity, impact, and the type of pain allows for a multifaceted and individualized approach to pain management. Nonpharmacologic therapies, including relaxation techniques, acupuncture, and exercise, in combination with pharmacologic therapies, including nonopioids, opioids, and adjuvant therapies, provide adequate pain relief in up to 85% of cancer patients with pain. For patients with refractory complex pain, the addition of other therapies, including radiation, regional analgesia, neuroablative procedures, chemotherapy, and palliative surgery, will often provide excellent palliation in nearly all patients with cancer pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAbeloff’s Clinical Oncology
ISBN (Electronic)9780323476744
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Adjuvant analgesics
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Opioid agonists
  • Pain assessment
  • SUD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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