Pain, Depression, and Anxiety in Cancer

  • Lora M. Thompson
  • Margarita Bobonis Babilonia
  • Sahana Rajasekhara
  • Kristine A. DonovanEmail author


The experience of pain is often associated with negative affect, such as anxiety and depression, and this relationship is evident in adult cancer patients, particularly those with advanced disease. Effective management of pain in cancer patients cannot be achieved without addressing co-occurring psychological factors (Portenoy 2011). The aim of this chapter is to summarize knowledge about depression and anxiety as they relate to pain in adult cancer patients. We will briefly review the etiology and prevalence of pain before summarizing the existing knowledge about the relationship of depression and anxiety to pain in adult cancer patients. We will then provide an overview of the etiology, methods of assessment, prevalence, and management of depression and anxiety as it pertains to adult cancer patients. Examples of studies conducted with cancer patients with pain and with palliative care patients will be discussed when relevant. Finally, we conclude with future directions for addressing depression and anxiety in cancer patients with pain.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lora M. Thompson
    • 1
  • Margarita Bobonis Babilonia
    • 1
  • Sahana Rajasekhara
    • 1
  • Kristine A. Donovan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Supportive Care Medicine DepartmentH. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research InstituteTampaUSA

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