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Pain Res Manag


Characteristics of Chronic Pain among Head and Neck Cancer Patients Treated with Radiation Therapy: A Retrospective Study.


Kallurkar A, Kulkarni S, Delfino K, Ferraro D, Rao K
Pain Res Manag. 2019; 2019:9675654.
PMID: 31198479.


Pain is common among patients with head and neck cancer (HNC). However, there are very limited data on chronic pain among HNC patients treated with radiation therapy (XRT). In this retrospective study, we focused on the characteristics of chronic post-XRT pain in such patients. Post-XRT pain is common among HNC patients; however, we found discrepancy between frequency of treatment and frequency of chronic pain, suggesting poor documentation of pain in the medical records. Among patients who reported to have chronic post-XRT pain, most of them described having severe pain and used descriptors of neuropathic pain. Pharynx was the commonest site of cancer as well as the commonest site of cancer-related chronic pain; squamous cell carcinoma was the most frequent histological pattern, and opioids were used most often to treat such chronic pain. There was a significant association between chronic pain and number of sites of pain, and chronic pain was also associated with use of opioids.