The population of cancer survivors in the United States is growing rapidly.1 In 2016, the number of survivors was 15.5 million; with the aging of the population and advances in early detection and treatment methods, this number is expected to reach 26.1 million by 2040.1 Chronic pain is one of the most common long-term effects of cancer treatment and has been linked with an impaired quality of life, lower adherence to treatment, and higher health care costs.2 Nevertheless, there is a paucity of information regarding the prevalence of, and risk factors for, the development of chronic pain among cancer survivors. A better understanding of the epidemiology of pain in cancer survivors can help inform future health care educational priorities and policies. Accordingly, the objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain (HICP, chronic pain with major activity restriction) among cancer survivors in the United States by using data from the National Health Interview Survey (2016-2017).
Despite Prevalence, Pain Management May Be Under managed in Patients with MPNs
Here is excellent coverage by Cure Today as it relates specifically to MPN patients:
“To date, little is known about patient viewpoints on MPN pain, its relationship to other chronic pain syndromes and the impact of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic pain therapies,” the researchers wrote in an abstract presented at the meeting. “In this study, we performed an international survey of MPN patients to better understand the prevalence and management of MPN pain.”
Patients reported that they believe that cancer can cause pain but weren’t expecting it. Overall, 42.3 percent of patients said that they were unsatisfied with their current pain management plan. However, only 43.5 percent patients reported that their health care providers discussed pain during office visits.
“Chronic pain is a prevalent and under managed feature of MPN disorders.”
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Chronic pain has been discussed as a “major issue” among many MPN cancer patients. This needs to be voiced by patients to their doctors. So over 50% of MPN Patients suffer chronic pain. We should not feel ashamed or guilty for asking your doctor for pain medications if needed. Natural options include light exercise, yoga, CBD oil and various non-smoking forms of medical marijuana if you reside in a legal state (be sure to check with your doctor). More focus is needed by MPN researchers and specialists on this symptom.
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