Pain is an important symptom in oncology. Many patients will suffer it at some time during the course of their illness. Of course it depends on the site or the type of tumour, but also on the therapeutic methods utilized and the psychosocial context in which the disease occurs (Foley 1982; Payne and Foley 1984). Certain tumours have few painful symptoms, such as lymphoma or leukaemia (only 10-20 per cent), while others are much more painful, notably those of the skeleton and the ENT area (80 per cent) (Bonica 1979). The prevalence of pain increases with the severity of the illness (Twycross and Fairfield 1982); 60 to 90 per cent of patients with advanced cancer complain of it (Cleeland 1984), and often at this stage the main palliative is to ensure pain control (Saunders 1982).