chapter  27
32 Pages

Chronic cancer pain syndromes and their treatment

ByNathan I. Cherny

INTRODUCTION Surveys indicate that pain is experienced by 30% to 60% of cancer patients during active therapy and by more than two-thirds of those with advanced disease (1). Unrelieved pain is incapacitating and precludes a satisfying quality of life; it interferes with physical functioning and social interaction, and is strongly associated with heightened psychological distress. It can provoke or exacerbate existential distress disturb normal processes of coping and adjustment and augment a sense of vulnerability, contributing to a preoccupation with the potential for catastrophic outcomes (2). Persistent pain interferes with the ability to eat, sleep, think, interact with others, and is correlated with fatigue in cancer patients.