Chronic Pain in Over 50 percent of MPN Cancer patients

Part 4 in a New Series:  “Addressing MPN Symptoms” 

Check out the entire series (2020 update) 

Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain in Cancer Survivors in the United States

Jiang C, Wang H, Wang Q, Luo Y, Sidlow R, Han X. Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain in Cancer Survivors in the United States. JAMA Oncol. Published online June 20, 20195(8):1224–1226. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.1439

Tchronic pain myeloproliferative neoplasm mpn cancer patientshe 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:

by Brielle Benyon
More than 40 percent of patients with a myeloproliferative neoplasm reported that they were unsatisfied with their current pain management strategy.
More than half of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) report feeling pain that is related to the disease, most commonly abdominal discomfort (53.2 percent) and bone pain (48.5 percent).  Yet, despite its prevalence, chronic pain may be significantly under managed in these patients, according to recent research presented at the 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.

“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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Publisher’s Note:

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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Chronic Pain in Over 50 percent of MPN Cancer patients

About David Wallace

Founder of PV Reporter, a resource for Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) patients and caregivers. After being diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera (PV) in 2009, I utilized social media to connect with "informed patients" and develop a better understanding of emerging treatment options. My philosophy on patient care is straight forward - "educating the patient is essential, so the patient can guide their physician to meet his or her needs." PV Reporter is a comprehensive resource hub giving visitors vital tools to become "empowered patients."

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