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The prevalence of pain in a pediatric and young adult cancer population

, : The prevalence of pain in a pediatric and young adult cancer population. Pain 29(1): 73-84

The prevalence and nature of pain in the population of children and young adults with malignancy treated by the Pediatric Branch of the National Cancer Institute were assessed over a 6 month period. One hundred and thiry-nine patients were evaluated during 161 in-patient days and 195 out-patient clinic visits. Approximately 50% of the patients assessed in the hospital and 25% of the patients assessed in the out-patient clinic were found to be experiencing some degree of pain at the time of assessment. Therapy-related pain predominated in both in-patients and out-patients; only one-third of the pain experienced by in-patients and less than 20% of the pain experienced by out-patients was due to tumor. Tumor pain was due primarily to bony invasion. In order to control pain in those individuals experiencing pain, narcotic analgesics were being used by one-half of the in-patients and one-third of the out-patients. Overall pain control was good, with the median visual analogue scale score being 26 mm on a 0-100 mm scale. During the study period 7 patients were identified to have chronic pain for greater than 1 year following eradication of all known tumor from the site of pain. One was receiving massive doses of narcotics (120 mg/day of methadone) apparently out of proportion to his underlying pain.

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Accession: 006740464

PMID: 3588002

DOI: 10.1016/0304-3959(87)90180-1

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