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Cancer pain syndromes: overview 

Cancer pain syndromes: overview
Cancer pain syndromes: overview

Nathan I. Cherny

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date: 24 January 2022

Cancer pain syndromes are defined by the association of particular pain characteristics and physical signs with specific consequences of the underlying disease or its treatment. The recognition of cancer pain syndromes and the ability to distinguish between them is a critical skill for palliative care clinicians since syndromes are associated with distinct aetiologies and pathophysiologies, and they often have important prognostic and therapeutic implications. Pain syndromes associated with cancer can be either acute or chronic. Whereas acute pains experienced by cancer patients are usually related to diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, chronic pains are most commonly caused by direct tumour infiltration. Adverse consequences of cancer therapy, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, account for 15-25% of chronic cancer pain problems, and a small proportion of the chronic pains experienced by cancer patients are caused by pathology unrelated to either the cancer or the cancer therapy.

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