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J Support Oncol. 2012 May-Jun;10(3):89-95. doi: 10.1016/j.suponc.2011.08.004. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

Transformation of acute cancer pain to chronic cancer pain syndromes.

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University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.


For many cancer survivors, disease-related long-term morbidities and the application of advanced cancer treatments have resulted in the development of a chronic pain state. This brief review explores the relationship between what is known about the treatment of active cancer pain syndromes-both continuous pain and breakthrough pain-and persisting pain syndromes in cancer survivors. We also posit that because there is evidence to suggest that poorly treated acute pain can lead to protracted pain conditions, acute pain should be recognized and treated promptly, both for short- and long-term gain. In the short term, better acute pain treatment can improve functionality and psychological well-being, whereas in the long term, mounting evidence suggests that it could prevent of future chronic pain.

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