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03-07-2019 | Oncology | News | Article

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Pain prevalence characterized for US cancer survivors

medwireNews: Chronic pain (CP) is prevalent among US survivors of cancer, reveals research published in a letter to JAMA Oncology.

Of the 4526 adult cancer survivors who participated in the 2016–2017 National Health Interview Survey, 34.6% reported CP on most days or every day in the past 6 months and 16.1% reported high-impact (HI)CP, defined as life- or work-limiting pain, on most days or every day in the past 6 months.

Using this analysis, Changchuan Jiang (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA) and co-workers extrapolate that CP and HICP may affect 5.39 million and 2.51 million cancer survivors in the USA, respectively.

The adjusted prevalence of CP was highest among bone cancer survivors (54.0%), followed by those who had been diagnosed with cancers of the kidney (52.3%), throat or pharynx (47.9%), or uterus (44.5%).

The researchers did not find a link between CP and time since diagnosis, age, sex, marital status, or region, but the prevalence of both CP and HICP was highest among individuals who had not finished high school, who had a low household income or no paid employment, and were aged 18–64 years with public health insurance.

Finding the prevalence of CP and HICP among cancer survivors to be “almost double” that of the US general population, the team concludes there may be “important unmet needs in the large and growing cancer survivorship community.”

By Lynda Williams

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2019 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

JAMA Oncol 2019; doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.1439

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