Study on Chronic Pain Following Breast Cancer Notes Prevalence of Severity

Depression and anxiety also accompany pain often, according to researchers

A brand new study appearing in the new JAMA medical journal, covered issues of chronic pain factors for those who had gone through surgery in the last year. The most consistent symptoms were chronic pain, preoperative depression, pain in or around the area of operation.

“Persistent pain following breast cancer treatments remains a significant clinical problem despite improved treatment strategies. Data on factors associated with persistent pain are needed to develop prevention and treatment strategies and to improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients,” according to the information provided by the article.

Helsinki University Central Hospital member Dr. Tuomo J Meretoja and colleagues looked over the intensity and consistency of the factors associated with such pain after breast cancer treatment. The study covered over 860 individuals who were under the age of 75 and who had operations on non-metastasized breast cancer. The operations were held between 2006 and 2010.

According to the data, at the 12-month mark, 34.5% of all patients reported no significant pain related to the surgery. Just under 50% noted a mild pain, while another 12% stated they experienced moderate pain. Under 4% stated severe pain was a factor.

Other factors associated with pain at 12 months were chronic preoperative pain, preoperative pain in the area that was operated upon, or received doses of radiation. “These findings may be useful in developing strategies for preventing persistent pain following breast cancer treatment. To identify patients who would benefit from preventive interventions, a risk assessment tool is needed,” the authors write.

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