Management of Cancer Pain

  • Joseph N. Atallah


Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States after heart diseases. Center of Disease Control estimated number of cancer deaths in 2005 to 559,312. Cancer constitutes 22.8% of the total death in the United States. Lung cancer is the most common fatal cancer in men (31%), followed by colon and rectum (10%), and prostate (9%). In women, lung (26%), breast (15%), and colon and rectum (10%) are the leading causes of cancer death. Most patients with cancer have pain. Cancer pain can develop from tumor invasion, musculoskeletal pain, visceral pain, radiation treatment effect, or neuropathy from chemotherapy. The incidence of pain in cancer patients receiving active treatment for early disease is about 20–25%. The incidence of pain in cancer patient with advanced disease is about 90%. More than 50% of patients with cancer pain have only one or two locations of pain. This fact usually gives the opportunity for interventional pain doctors to help patients with pain. Many cancer patients present with a combination of pain types such as visceral and somatic pain. Up to 90% of cancer pain patients respond well to medical treatment. A high percentage of the remaining individuals also respond well to interventional pain techniques (Portenoy 1989).


Cancer Pain Visceral Pain Exit Site Breakthrough Pain Splanchnic Nerve 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph N. Atallah
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of Toledo Medical CenterToledoUSA

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