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A seminal paper on the epidemiology of cancer pain 

A seminal paper on the epidemiology of cancer pain
A seminal paper on the epidemiology of cancer pain

Paul Farquhar-Smith

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date: 27 October 2021

The landmark paper discussed in this chapter is ‘Prevalence of pain in patients with cancer: A systematic review of the past 40 years’, published by van den Beuken et al. in 2007. It is not surprising that this definitive study on cancer pain prevalence is one of the most cited papers in cancer pain. Despite the extent of cancer pain literature, this paper’s 2007 publication is surprisingly recent for the first methodologically sound and major study of cancer pain prevalence. Many previous estimates lacked accuracy, and were prone to bias. What was known was that, despite apparent increasing interest in, research in, and recognition of pain in cancer patients, the prevalence of such pain was still high, even after treatment. This paper attempted to accurately quantify just how high by statistically pooling available high-quality data while avoiding the pitfalls of combining heterogeneous studies, as had plagued previous reports.

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