Management of chronic pain in cancer survivors

Michael H. Levy, Marcin Chwistek, Rohtesh S. Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Chronic pain is a frequent complication of cancer and its treatments and is often underreported, underdiagnosed, and undertreated. Pain in cancer survivors is caused by residual tissue damage from the cancer and/or the cancer therapy. This pain can be divided into 3 pathophysiologic categories: somatic, visceral, and neuropathic. The most common treatment-induced chronic pain syndromes are neuropathies secondary to surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Comfort and function are optimized in cancer survivors by a multidisciplinary approach using an individually tailored combination of opioids, coanalgesics, physical therapy, interventional procedures, psychosocial interventions, and complementary and alternative modalities. Management of chronic pain must be integrated into comprehensive cancer care so that cancer patients can fully enjoy their survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-409
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Neoplasms
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Opioids
  • Pain
  • Quality of life
  • Review
  • Survivorship
  • Therapeutics


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